If you've ever participated in a Strong Viking Obstacle Runyou know how important it is to have a good grip for certain obstacles. For example, you'll need to pull yourself up on a rope and conquer the monkey bars and Flying Ragnar. Without a good grip, these obstacles become much more difficult... But you, as a true Viking, are preparing yourself well! Fortunately, training your grip strength isn't difficult. In this article, you'll find various exercises. And the best part? Some of these exercises can even be done while sitting on the couch after a busy day. Because yes, Vikings need to take a break now and then!

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Why is it important to train your hands?

Some people train their legs, some love to train their arms, but most people forget a completely different muscle group! Training your hand grip is just as important as training your arms or legs, because once you start lifting a few extra kilos but your grip lets you down... Well, then you're in for a surprise!

But it's not just important to train your grip strength for lifting weights. It also makes carrying shopping bags (or beer crates) much easier, reduces the risk of injury during sports, and will definitely benefit you as you get older. Oh, and one of the most important reasons perhaps: By training your hand grip, you'll make it much easier for yourself during Strong Viking! Here are some reasons why training for a stronger grip is important:

  1. Daily activities: Good grip strength is essential for performing daily activities such as holding objects, opening bottles and jars, lifting shopping bags, and even holding a pen while writing.
  2. Maintaining Independence: As we age, muscle strength may decrease, leading to difficulties in performing daily tasks. By training your grip strength, you can maintain independence for a longer period and preserve your autonomy.
  3. Injury Prevention: Strong hands and forearms reduce the risk of injury during daily activities as well as during sports or physical labor.
  4. Improving Sports Performance: In many sports such as climbing, tennis, golf, and weightlifting, good grip strength is crucial for optimal performance and injury prevention.
  5. Overall Strength Improvement: Since the hands and forearms are involved in many other exercises, training your grip strength can also contribute to an overall improvement in your strength and performance during sports or fitness activities.

Do you have reduced strength in your hands due to a medical condition?Consult your primary care physician before proceeding with the exercises listed below. 

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Training Your Grip Strength: Here's How!

Do you want to train your grip strength but don't feel like going to the gym every day? No problem! Many exercises can be done right at home, while you're sitting on the couch! That's really convenient. Plus, you can make it as challenging or easy as you want. For example, you can start with a lighter weight and gradually increase it. Of course, you don't want to force anything, otherwise you'll end up with sore hands in the next few days. That's not fun! Here are some handy (haha, handy, get it πŸ–πŸ») exercises to train your grip. There's bound to be one that's suitable for you!

Training grip strength with hand grippers

Hand grippers are handy tools to train both your hand strength and forearms. All you have to do is squeeze the tools and you're already on your way! They come in different resistances, so there's always one that fits your level. There are also adjustable hand grippers. These are a bit more expensive, but you can adjust them as your pinch strength increases. These tools don't take up much space, so 'no space for new training tools' is not a good argument. πŸ™…πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ

Twisting towels

For this exercise, you don't even need to purchase new tools, as everyone typically has towels at home... At least, we hope so. Take a thick towel and roll it tightly. Hold the ends of the towel with one hand at each end. Then, tighten the towel by twisting your hands in opposite directions. This exercise will strengthen both your grip strength and your forearms.

Grip training by carrying bags

Do you always park your car close to the entrance of the supermarket so you don't have to carry the heavy shopping bags far? If you want to train your grip strength, try parking your car further away... or take a walk! Carrying heavy bags trains your grip strength. Depending on the weight, this can have the same effect as lifting weights in the gym. How many cauliflowers can you lift?

Go climbing!

If you really want to put your hand grip to the test, try bouldering! Bouldering, a sport where you climb walls, is becoming increasingly popular. It's not just great for training your hands; it provides a full-body workout. This way, you'll truly prepare your body for the Strong Viking obstacle runs!

Training grip strength at the playground

Everyone has a playground nearby, right? Channel your inner child and try hanging on the monkey bars, you know, those climbing frames from the past! During this exercise, you'll not only train your hanging strength and grip but also feel your back muscles, shoulder muscles, abdominal muscles, and biceps the next day. Are you doing well with this? Then try it with mud on your hands... πŸ˜‰

Testing your grip strength during an obstacle run

There's no better way to test your grip strength than during obstacle runs. A tip: Use gloves during the obstacle run! It will definitely remain a challenge, as those monkey bars are truly much harder when you're covered in mud... Luckily, we have full confidence in you, so go ahead and buy your Strong Viking ticket Strong Viking ticket for the next edition! And in the meantime, don't forget to train your grip strength and hands: carry your groceries, buy some hand training equipment, and hang on the monkey bars at the playground. OORAH!