Two groups of muscles that need special attention are the forearm and the hand, because these muscles are in charge of the action of gripping.
But why is having a good grip important? Our hands and arms multitask when we are riding the bike. During a race we are doing repeated actions such as: twisting the throttle, breaking, clutch control and controlling the bike at different speeds, positions and especially in different levels of fatigue (mentally and physically).
Fatigue can be a personal constraint that will affect our performance in the race if we do not have the strength and endurance of our grip, to maintain the actions described before.
Lucky for all of us it's very simple to have better strength and endurance of our grip. We need a structured strength program to achieve it and with only 2 or 3 days of specific grip strength training we can achieve that. It's as easy as gripping heavy things!
First exercise that we will do: Farmers walk, This exercise will help to gain endurance - strength of our grip and at the same time will improve our balance and control of the whole body by making our core stronger. We can use dumbbells, kettlebells, hexagonal bar, etc. and we can start with 10m walks and progress 10m each week.
Second exercise is a classic in all programs: Pull ups, the main target of this exercise is to gain strength and endurance of the back, but we must be able to lift our body weight during all of the repetitions with a proper grip. If you can't do a pull up, try holding in the initial position, gripping the bar with the hands and hanging for as long as we can. We can progress from 8 to 12 repetitions or 10 to 30 seconds etc. maintaining the initial position.
Third exercise is: Deadlifts. A must-do in strength programs for experienced athletes, working with heavy deadlifts will improve the strength of the grip. For novice athletes deadlifts are recommended too, but, with lower loads. Repetitions from 1 to 5 with heavy loads, 6 to 10 with moderate loads, and 11 to 15 with lower loads, are a recommendation for this exercise.
So these were 3 exercises that can help us to achieve strength and endurance for our grip, these exercises are not the only ones, climbing ropes are another great exercise, basically all dumbbells and kettlebells strength training will improve our grip. Start to focus some time on this subject, and you will start to see see how you feel better and get better on the bike!