One common denominator between silks, lyra, hammock and even pole, is that they can all place an immense amount of stress on your hands. No matter what your aerial apparatus of choice may be, you will invariably need to condition your grip strength. This can often seem like a challenge, simply because our grip strength is not something we use in many other forms of exercise. While there are a number of gadgets that you can purchase to work on your grip strength at home, you can actually strengthen your grip using nothing but your own hands!
Conditioning your grip strength without any equipment comes down to focusing on three parts of your body that are most utilized for a strong grip; fingers, wrists and forearms. By combining a handful of stretching and strengthening exercises to target these three areas, you can start building up your grip strength without even picking up a piece of equipment!
Begin by sitting on your knees and place your hands on the ground in front of you. Turn your hands so that your fingers are facing your knees and stretch your arms out straight. Gently rock forwards and backwards on your wrists, feeling a deep stretch throughout your forearms. To add an extra stretch for your wrists, bend your elbows backwards until your hands peel up off the ground slowly. Repeat until both forearms and wrists feel warm.
Begin by sitting on your knees and making fists with both hands. Place your fists on the ground with your knuckles pressed towards each other and the top of your hands on the ground flat. When you’re ready, slowly bend your elbows and lower yourself slightly down. Slowly raise yourself back up. Repeat 3 to 5 times.
Begin by standing with your legs hip width apart. Stretch your arms out long and begin raising them up slowly while flicking your fingers, hands facing in towards you. Once you’ve reached the top, rotate your hands to be facing away from you and continue flicking all the way down. You can also alternate and face your hands away from you on the way up and towards you on the way down. Repeat 5 to 7 times.
Begin by spreading your fingers out wide. Starting with your thumb, slowly bend one finger down into a fist at a time while keeping the remaining fingers as straight as possible. Then, straighten each finger out from your fist, one at a time. Repeat 3 to 5 times.
These are just a few of the many exercises you can use to strengthen your grip without even using equipment. The beauty of these moves is that they can be performed anywhere and any time! Add these to your normal warm up routine before practice or try them out at home the next time you’re binge watching your favorite show to start reaping the benefits of improved grip strength, fast.
Photos and Article by Mary Jo Gruber
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