The Interosseous muscles are often forgotten in strength training.  Yet, research tells us they are the cornerstone of hand function and are the key element of all intrinsic and extrinsic movements of the hand.  There are three small palmar interossei muscles that are attached to the ring, index and little fingers that are primarily involved in the adduction of fingers and assist in flexion and extension.  There are also four dorsal interossei muscles located in the back of the hand that abduct the fingers.

Training the Ab/Adductors of The Fingers

Gripping devices and grip dynamometers are used to test grip strength.  An athlete may display tremendous power when strength is measured, but there is more to grip strength than the ability to close the hand.

Examples: Grabbing a rope and pulling a heavy object, not only requires the hand to firmly grasp, but the tugging motions’ force tries to separate the fingers while the fingers are also needing to hold and pull.

If  someone grabs you by the wrist the exit strategy is pulling and twisting to separate the fingers reducing their gripping power loosening the hold.

Holding onto a football or basketball requires spreading the fingers and applying multidirectional forces to maintain security.

To understand the significance of the interosseous muscles and the role they play in strength of the hands try the sledge hammer finger walk.  Start with a 6 pound sledge with a wooden handle.  Standing or seated pick up the hammer with the tips of your fingers starting at the top.  The goal is to walk your fingers down the handle and touch the head of the sledge.  Move one hand until the index finger reaches the pinky of the opposing hand and then the other hand repeats the motion.  Once at the bottom, sledge touched, let the sledge hammer slowly return to the starting position by resisting it sliding between your finger tips.  This movement is eccentric loading of the musculature.  When you can achieve two reps add weight by slipping a 2.5 pound plate over the top.

41 Pound Sledge Hammer Finger Walk

Getting these pivotal muscles Strong has a huge impact on grip strength and in sport can literally be a game changer.

Load Your Pendulum Grip Cart with Implements to Train Ab/Adduction