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Fitness Monthly - Get a Grip

17:18 20th April 2012 by Adam Sims
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Lucy McCormick talks grip strength…

So it’s getting pretty close to the start of the Windsurfing season in the UK (if the wind decides to arrive!) and your body might be a little bit rusty. One thing that most windsurfers find when they first get back on the water after some time off is a decreased strength in their grip. Like any part of our body, when we don’t use it we lose it!

When we windsurf we use a lot of muscles which we don’t use so much for everyday tasks; we also tend to use these muscles for longer than we would normally use them. This can lead to your muscles fatiguing, muscle soreness and cramps, and in turn cut your session short.

During the windsurfing session your hands and wrists will be involved in a number of movements and skills – from carrying your kit to the beach and gripping the boom, to the more skilled hand movements of gybing and tacking.

So as you can see the hands and wrists play a mega important role. Consequently, here are a few exercises that you can do to improve both your wrist strength and hand grip. The routine below will increase your ability to flex, extend and rotate your wrists, as well as assisting to improve your grip strength – making your wrists stronger and in turn keeping you out on the water for longer!

For most of the exercise below you can use a mast, mast foot extension, or any long object that you can get your hands on. To make the exercises more difficult you can add a weight on a string to the middle of the long object, thus increasing resistance.

Make sure you use the correct form and posture throughout and if you experience any pain discontinue the exercise.

Wrist Curls

Hold the bar out in front of you with an underhand grip (palms facing up). Relax your wrists until your hands are lower than your wrists, and then raise the bar up towards you until your hands are higher than your forearm. Repeat for one minute.

Reverse Wrist Curls

Hold the bar out in front of you with an overhand grip (palms facing down). Relax your wrists until your hands are lower than your wrists and then raise the bar up towards you until your hands are higher than your forearm. Repeat for one minute.

Wrist Twists

Underhand grip – Hold the bar out in front of you with an underhand grip (palms facing up), slowly turn your wrist in a clockwise direction as far as you can, once you reach the furthest point of the turn, turn your wrist in a counter clockwise direction as far as you can. Repeat for each wrist. Repeat for one minute.

Overhand grip – Hold the bar out in front of you with a overhand grip (palms facing down), slowly turn your wrist in a clockwise direction as far as you can, once you reach the furthest point of the turn, turn your wrist in a counter clockwise direction as far as you can. Repeat this for each wrist. Repeat for one minute.

Squeeze and release

With palms facing up, squeeze a ball of some description (preferably a stress ball) and then release. Repeat for one minute.

Try to repeat this routine twice a week, with at least a day’s rest in between.