So you’re woke up one day and thought: “Man, it’s going to be awesome to have strong fingers!” Well, maybe that’s not the exact story. Maybe, you were upset because your girlfriend defeated you in armwrestling. Or you saw that video where the guy punches watermelon with his two fingers and leaves two holes in it (if you don’t believe me just search “watermelon challenge” on YouTube). It doesn’t really matter how you came to this. What matters is the fact that grip and finger strength are very important. No matter what your goal is you should train them without remorse. There’s nothing more manly than bone-crushing handshake. And even if all your concern is just the size of your muscles what a shame would be for a big guy to have soft hands. Besides, that’s an awesome party trick to open beer with bare hands.
So what exercise to choose? There are literally thousands of grip and finger exercises. Some require special apparatus while others require no equipment at all. And if your goal is to strengthen your fingers there is one awesome exercise for this. It requires no equipment except your bodyweight. And it’s called Claw Fingertip Push-Ups.
Why Not Regular Fingertip Push-Ups?
It’s a good question. At first let’s take a look at the difference between these two exercises:
As you can see the difference is in the last fingers’ joint involvement. Obviously, claw version is harder, what is awesome. Just try it. And, by the way, it is better for your finger joints. If you have hyperextension in finger joints (like I do) then you’ll feel the difference right away.
So How to Perform Claw Fingertip Push-Ups?
They are very similar to ordinary push-ups so the basic technique tips work for them also. I mean, your body should be straight, feet together or at least almost touching, hands under your shoulders and shoulder-width. As for fingers, you should literally be on the tips of your fingers. Fingers should be bent in the last joint to achieve this position. At first it going to hurt, but with practice they’ll become easier. One tip: you would want to grab the floor with your fingers in this position. This way you’ll involve your fingers even more and it will strengthen more your “claws”.
There’s big possibility that you won’t be able to perform Claw Fingertip Push-Ups right away. Maybe you won’t be able to hold even the top position of this exercise. Don’t get frustrated. Start slow. Start with Claw Fingertip Push-Ups from your knees. If you can’t push yourself up from that position then try just holding yourself in it. Treat this exercise as any strength exercise. You won’t expect to press 200 lbs overhead right away, right? So don’t rush things. True master of Claw Fingertip Push-Ups will have flesh-tearing “claws” and finger strength to match.
Well, at some point you’ll find out that regular Claw Fingertip Push-Ups are not a challenge anymore. What to do then? There are several ways:
- Add weighted vest. Simple and effective. No thinking involved. If regular version is easy add couple of pounds and you have new challenge.
- Start decreasing number of fingers. If regular version is easy try to use only 4 fingers of both hands. Then 3. Then 2. Mix them as you want. For example, use index finger, pinky and thumb, or middle, ring and thumb etc.
- Progress to one arm. If regular version is easy progress to One-Arm Claw Fingertip Push-Ups. They would be challenge.
- Mix all of above techniques. Feel the freedom.
Now you have the blueprint to finger strength few people possess (if any). Strive for One-Arm One-Finger Claw Fingertip Push-Ups with weighted vest for reps and you will possess the strength not only to break the watermelon but to break a brick wall. Thanks for reading. Feel free to like and share. I’d like to read your thoughts in comments. If you have any questions feel free to e-mail me to [email protected].
About author: Alex Zinchenko is a strength athlete, personal strength coach, independent fitness journalist and researcher, founder and owner of Rough Strength, whose main goal is to help people reach their fitness goals rough, or, in other words, using as little equipment as possible. His primary specializations are bodyweight strength training, kettlebells, sandbags and intermittent fasting. His key features are old-fashioned honesty, open-mindness, experimentalism, straight-to-your-face approach and zero tolerance to modern fitness fluff.