Each finger of the hand is powered by a completely separate system of muscles and tendons which are located in the fingers, wrist, and forearm. Most of the hand’s power is generated by larger muscles in the forearm while finer movements are controlled by smaller muscles in the hand itself. Our wrist is the bridge which stabilizes the interaction of the hand & forearm.
Gaining finger strength is a very slow process, finger strength occurs when the Tendons and Pulleys within your fingers stretch and tear slightly causing them to repair themselves and become stronger. Tendons and pulleys are not like other muscles that can increase in size with ease, they require longer periods of time to strengthen compared to other bodily muscles.
The tendons work like long ropes connecting the tip of each finger to the base of the knuckles which continue to the wrist and then to the muscles within the forearms, these are the ones that you use to move your fingers.
The pulleys are the fibres that keep the tendons attached to the bones of your fingers. They form a tunnel under which the tendons must glide and are responsible for holding the tendons close against the bone. The slick lining on the tendons and tunnel allow for the easy gliding of these pulleys within the hand.
Types of Grip Strength
There are four main types of grip strength your hands will come across. All of these play a key role in all aspects of your finger training exercises.
Crushing Grip Strength
This involves a grip similar to a handshake, whereby an object being gripped rests firmly against the and all. A strong crush grip is useful in bone-crushing handshakes or for crushing items with, for example an apple.
Lifting a chair by grasping one of the front legs (while keeping it level) is an example of wrist strength. While this doesn't necessarily impact finger and grip strength, strong wrists are an essential part of development of the forearm.
Supporting Grip Strength
Typically involves holding or exerting crushing strength on an object and sustaining it for a period of time. A great deal of muscular endurance is required for this grip as it involves holding an object for a maxium duration requiring the thumb, the fingers, and the palm.
Pinch Grip Strength
In a pinch grip, the fingers are on one side of an object, and the is on the other. This type of grip strength relies very heavily on the strength of the thumb. If you’re an avid rock climber or into bouldering you probably already know that pinch strength is the backbone to the pinch grip.