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Climbers need strong hands to grip tiny crimps and hang on through steep climbs. When you can’t get on the wall to improve your grip, a grip strengthener can help you train. There are all sorts of different kinds of grip strengtheners, and it can be hard to choose what will help you crush your next project. But we here at The Adventure Junkies can help you find the best grip strengthener to help you hold on through the crux of your favorite climb.

For more of our top climbing gear recommendations, check out the Best Climbing Hangboards

 

Quick Answer - The Best Grip Strengtheners

  1. Gripmaster Hand Strengthener
  2. Metolius Grip Saver Plus
  3. Black Diamond Forearm Trainer
  4. Keepafit Finger Exerciser
  5. Metolius Rock Rings
  6. Escape Climbing Wood Power Balls
  7. TheraBand FlexBar
  8. Liberty Mountain Power Putty
  9. IronMind Captains of Crush
  10. DFX Sports & Fitness Sports Pro Gyro

 

Comparison Table - Best Grip Strengthener

PictureNameMovement TypeMaterialPriceRating
Gripmaster Hand StrengthenerSqueezePlastic & Metal$4.5
Metolius Grip Saver PlusSqueeze & StretchFoam & Rubber$$$3.9
Black Diamond Forearm TrainerSqueezeRubber$4.6
Keepafit Finger ExerciserSqueeze & StretchRubber$$4.5
Metolius Rock RingsHangingPolyester Resin$$4.7
Escape Climbing Wood Power BallsHanging & HoldingWood$$4.3
TheraBand FlexBarTwistingRubber$$4.6
Liberty Mountain Power PuttySqueeze & StretchSilicone Rubber$3.9
IronMind Captains of CrushSqueezeAluminum & Steel$$4.4
DFX Sports & Fitness Sports Pro GyroStabilizingPlastic & Polycarbonate$$3.6
PictureNameMovement TypeMaterialPriceRating

Reviews - The Best Climbing Grip Strengtheners

Gripmaster Hand Strengthener

Specs
  • Material: Plastic & Metal
  • Movement Type: Squeeze
Features
  • Separate Levers To Train Each Finger Individually
  • Comes In Different Levels Of Tension Levels
  • Pocket Size To Easily Use On-the-Go

BEST FOR: FINGER STRENGTHENING

The Gripmaster Hand Strengthener is a classic grip strengthener that can target each finger individually as well as the whole hand. It works by pressing down on buttons which are spring-loaded, and it comes a variety of different tension levels. This allows you to easily see improvement and continue to challenge your grip strength.

Since you’re meant to grip it in your hand, the Gripmaster is small and portable enough to easily fit in a pocket to use on-the-go. One drawback to the Gripmaster is that it doesn’t work your antagonistic forearm muscles, so you might want to use another method to do that in order to provide balance and prevent injury.

Metolius Grip Saver Plus

Specs
  • Material: Foam & Rubber
  • Movement Type: Squeeze & Stretch
Features
  • 3 Levels of Resistance
  • Works Both Flexion (Bending) and Extension (Straightening) of Fingers
  • Lightweight & Portable

BEST FOR: VERSATILITY

The Metolius Grip Saver Plus not only trains the flexor muscles that strengthen your grip, but also targets the extensor muscles that provide balance in your forearm to prevent injuries. The Grip Saver works both sets of muscles through a foam ball that you squeeze and attached rubber loops that you extend with your fingers.

The Grip Saver Plus comes in a 3-pack which includes a soft, regular, and hard version, so you can train at different levels. These options make it an excellent choice for rehabbing from an injury. Although it is lightweight so you can carry it with you, the ball shape makes it too bulky to fit in a pocket.

Black Diamond Forearm Trainer

Specs
  • Material: Rubber
  • Movement Type: Squeeze
Features
  • Small & Portable so You Can Always Have It With You
  • Made of Durable Rubber That Won’t Lose Resistance
  • Easy to Use

BEST FOR: SIMPLICITY

All you have to do to use the Black Diamond Forearm Trainer is simply squeeze. This grip strengthener is a synthetic rubber donut that you can slip in your pack or your pocket. You can use it at the office, in the car, at home, or in the gym. It’s a great way to warm up your fingers before climbing.

It doesn’t come with a variety of exercises or tension levels, and it doesn’t offer a way to work your extensor muscles. But the Black Diamond Forearm Trainer is a simple, durable tool that does one job and does it well.

Keepafit Finger Exerciser

Specs
  • Material: Rubber
  • Movement Type: Squeeze & Stretch
Features
  • 3 Different Resistance Levels
  • Extremely Portable So You Can Have It With You All the Time
  • Useful for Preventing and Recovering from Injury

BEST FOR: INJURY PREVENTION

If you want to prevent injury, the Keepafit Finger Exerciser & Hand Strengthener is the perfect grip strengthening tool. Designed specifically to target the extensor muscles, which are the opposite of the flexor muscles you use while climbing, this tool can help relieve elbow tendonitis and other overuse injuries by providing muscle balance, while the ball in the middle also lets you squeeze to target the flexor muscles and work your grip.

To use, stick your fingers through the holes in the rubber disc, then open and close your hand. Keepafit Finger Exerciser & Hand Strengthener comes in three color-coded resistance levels, so you can progress as your grip strengthens. They are small and lightweight, so you can toss these in your bag and take them to the gym or the crag.

Metolius Rock Rings

Specs
  • Material: Polyester Resin
  • Movement Type: Hanging
Features
  • Comes in a Set of Two So You Can Work Both Sides at Once
  • Easy to Set Up & Move to Different Locations
  • Has Several Different Climbing-Specific Grips From a Jug to a Flat Edge

BEST FOR: HANG TRAINING

If you want the benefits of hangboard training in a more portable package, the Metolius Rock Rings are the solution. You can hang the Rock Rings up at home or take them with you to the crag to use as a warm up. They feature a jug, a small edge, and pockets, so you can build both finger and full grip strength.

An extra benefit of the Metolius Rock Rings is that, because each one hangs independently from a single point, it allows the joints on your elbows, wrists, and shoulders to rotate in a healthy way to prevent injury.

Escape Climbing Wood Power Balls

Specs
  • Material: Wood
  • Movement Type: Hanging & Holding
Features
  • Allows for A Wide Variety of Exercises That Work Grip As Well As Other Muscle Groups
  • Sturdy Hardware Makes It Easy & Secure To Hang Up
  • Made Of Smooth High-Quality Ash Wood

BEST FOR: ADVANCED CLIMBERS

The Escape Climbing Wood Power Balls allow experienced climbers to train grip strength while also performing exercises that target other muscle groups. Simply hanging from the wooden balls works your grip and forearm strength, and by adding in pull-ups or core exercises, such as leg lifts, knee tucks, and twists, you can get a full body workout that will help you on the climbing wall as well.

The balls feature industrial grade metal hardware for installation, so you can hang them from chains, webbing, or carabiners without worrying about them falling apart when supporting your weight. Also, the balls are made of ash wood which is hard to hang onto without being hard on your hands.

TheraBand FlexBar

Specs
  • Material: Rubber
  • Movement Type: Twisting
Features
  • Comes in Several Color-Coded Resistance Levels
  • Ridged Texture is Easy to Grasp
  • Easy to Toss in a Pack for Using On-the-Go

BEST FOR: ELBOW PAIN

Climbing can be extremely hard on the elbows, and the Theraband Flexbar helps alleviate elbow pain while also improving grip strength. Twisting and bending the bar works different muscle groups, and a variety of resistance levels allow you to progress as your grip gets stronger. Instructions are included with the Flexbar for the proper method of performing twisting exercises that specifically reduce elbow pain.

Though the Flexbar is convenient to travel with in a pack, it is bigger than some pocket-size grip strengthener options, so you probably won’t want to bring it with you everywhere.

Liberty Mountain Power Putty

Specs
  • Material: Silicone Rubber
  • Movement Type: Squeeze & Stretch
Features
  • Works Muscles in All Directions of Movement
  • Available in Different Resistance Levels
  • Durable Container Makes It Portable

BEST FOR: HAND STRENGTHENING

Power Putty can best be described as a stronger version of Silly Putty that makes your hands stronger, too. You can use it freeform, just squeezing and playing with it, and there are also a bunch of specific exercises included. It is available in four different resistances, from soft to hard, so you can choose what you need and work your way up as you get stronger.

One drawback to Power Putty is that it is not necessarily the most durable. If you use it consistently, it can get sticky and is potentially prone to picking up dirt and grime.

IronMind Captains of Crush

Specs
  • Material: Aluminum & Steel
  • Movement Type: Squeeze
Features
  • Simple And Intuitive To Use
  • 11 Strength Levels To Continue Your Progress
  • Tough And Durable Metal Construction

BEST FOR: QUICK PROGRESS

The IronMind Captains of Crush Hand Grippers are a good way to quickly improve your functional grip strength. Made of high-quality, durable, metal, these Hand Grippers work like a nutcracker that you squeeze to strengthen your grip. They come in a range of 11 resistance levels (the top of which are fairly ridiculous except for professional weight lifters).

The Captains of Crush Hand Grippers can provide fast results in general grip strength, but this kind of grip strength doesn’t directly translate to climbing. However, when combined with climbing training, it will give you some improvement.

DFX Sports & Fitness Sports Pro Gyro

Specs
  • Material: Plastic & Polycarbonate
  • Movement Type: Stabilizing
Features
  • Increases Blood Flow Which Helps You Warm Up
  • Provides a Range of Motion Options
  • Fun to Use

BEST FOR: IMPROVING DEXTERITY

The DFX Sports Pro Gyro Exerciser Hand & Arm Strengthener spins in your hand and produces up to 35 lb of rotational force. As you work to stabilize it, the muscles in your hands and forearms get a good workout. The Gyro Exerciser feels kind of like a toy, which makes it a fun way to build grip strength. It lets you use a natural range of motion to control it, and is a great way to improve dexterity and control in your hands and fingers.

However, getting the Gyro Exerciser to actually start and stay gyrating can be a bit of a challenge requires a learning curve.

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING A GRIP STRENGTHENER

When you’re looking to strengthen your grip, it’s important to consider what your goals are. Are you trying to specifically work your fingers or do you want to target your forearms more? Do you want to prevent injury by working opposing muscles? Rock & Ice explains why targeting antagonistic muscles can help your overall grip strength by keeping your forearms balanced. You can also complement a grip strengthener with some simple exercises from farmer carries to using a rice bucket.

PORTABILITY

A big factor in choosing a grip strengthener is where you plan to use it. If you want something you can carry in a pocket and use discreetly at your desk, a small, portable option like the Gripmaster is a good choice.

If your plan is to use your grip strengthener at home, you can try a setup like the Metolius Rock Rings or the Wood Power Balls from Escape Climbing.

 

VERSATILITY

Some grip strengtheners only train very specific movements and muscles, while others allow for more of a range of workouts. If you know exactly what you want to target – for instance, if you’re recovering from an injury – it makes sense to get a grip strengthener that focuses on that. Otherwise, you could benefit from choosing a grip strengthener that will work your fingers and forearms in different ways.

 

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

ANTAGONISTIC TRAINING

Working the opposite muscles from what are normally used in climbing (e.g., push vs pull).

FLEXORS

Muscles that bend a joint inward.

EXTENSORS

Muscles that extend a joint outward.

READ MORE

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