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Strengthen your grip with every squeeze

You need hand, finger and wrist strength for virtually everything in life, whether it be swinging a golf club, doing a pull-up or carrying bags of groceries from the car. A convenient way to increase grip strength -- and help relieve stress, some say -- is by squeezing a handgrip device while you watch TV or talk on the telephone. Here are four devices that can help you get a grip.

April 26, 2004|Roy M. Wallack

One by one, watch those numbers add up

Keys Fitness Counter Hand Grips: The only handgrip with a built-in counter.

Likes: Watching the numbers on the counter change from 00 to 99 as you squeeze can be very motivating.

Dislikes: The hard-plastic handles can be uncomfortable after a while.

Price: $5.99. (800) 683-1236;


Taking a digital approach to fitness

Grip Master: This grip allows you to squeeze your fingers separately, as if you were playing a trumpet.

Likes: You can also work your fingers together, as with other types of handgrips. Different tensions are available: Black, red and blue correspond to hard, moderate and easiest. Comfortable palm-shaped rubber handle.

Dislikes: None.

Price: $13.99. (800) 880-3427.


Thumbs up for building strength

Altus Ultimate Hand Workout: This handgrip looks like brass knuckles on a spring.

Likes: Works your thumb the best of all grips tested (others largely ignore it). Soft-plastic-covered finger grips are comfortable. You can increase the difficulty by moving all four fingers up one ring, with your index finger extended. Comes in a package that also includes an easy-to-squeeze, egg-shaped rubber ball and Z Grip, a plastic-coated spring shaped like a doubled Z.

Dislikes: May be too difficult for some people who have smaller hands or lack grip strength.

Price: $12.50. (800) 654-3955;


A different spin on handgrip exercisers

TheraGrip: A handle with a gyroscope attached to the end.

Likes: A vigorous grip, wrist and forearm workout. You'll need to hold on tight; the gyroscopic action tends to yank the handle away. To start the scope, spin the rotor with one hand and twist the handle like a motorcycle throttle with the other hand.

Dislikes: Too noisy to do at your desk if you work in an office setting. Not especially relaxing.

Price: $34.89. (714) 630-0909; www.dynabee .com

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