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A man performing a grip exercise

Having strong hands can change athleticism and change the outcome of competition. The following grasping categories are more general than those used in scientific taxonomy, but are important for strength training and rehabilitation.  This blog discussion will be looking at Finger Ab/Adduction.

  1. Power Grip

  2. Hook Grip

  3. Ball Grip

  4. Pinch Grip

  5. Finger Ab/Adduction

  6. Precision Grip

  7. Wrist Flexion/Extension

Abduction is spreading the fingers, bringing them away from the midline of the hand and adduction brings the fingers towards the midline.  If you firmly grab someone’s wrist or forearm using a ‘power grip’ and they begin to pull away the abductors and adductors come into play.  Strengthening these muscles is essential in maintaining power as the lines of force applied to hold, the ulna and radius have quickly changed.

Strong hands require a multitude of muscular interactions.  Grasping an object firmly, then twisting your forearm into supination, the index and middle fingers act as a pair, the ring and little fingers also a pair to generate oppositely directed tangential force.  This requires digital strength, as well as coordination.

A great way to train ab/adduction of the fingers is to use a sledge hammer and ‘finger walk’  from the top down to the steel sledge and then when accomplished add weight over the handle.

abduction & adduction grip strength
abduction & adduction grip strength
Finger Ab/Adduction Training with a Sledge Hammer

Strengthening abduction and adduction of the thumb must be included in hand development.  In many gripping situations an opponent’s goal to break a strong grasp – is twist, turn and work against the grip at the single digit thumb.

In contact sports and other forms of competition the thumb is often hyperabducted, this happens enough to earn the name ‘gamekeeper injury‘ in the medical community.  Rehabilitation and strengthening this singular oft-neglected digit on a regular basis is important and should not be neglected when Getting athletes Strong.

abduction & adduction grip strength
Thumb Trainer

abduction & adduction grip strength
Lifting Weights With The Thumbs

abduction & adduction grip strength
Grasping Tools on the Pendulum Grip Cart



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