Grip Strength Training And Testing For Children

If your child is ANGRY that you are clueless about how to train or test their grip strength – look no further than this helpful post.


“A child that trains their grip is a HAPPY child.” -Mark Twain


Avoid the MONSTER that lurks in the heart of all kids.  If you’re not already letting them train their grip – start today.  Don’t forget to test their grip training progress, too…before it’s too late! (for you)



Well, in order to warrant testing, there has to be some training.

I wouldn’t call what Tiny Overlord (Josie) does “training” – at least compared to how I approach grip training.  But she has fun with it and whenever she feels like it (which may be once a week or 10 times a week), she will grab her custom gripper that Aaron Corcorran (he is a friend of mine, and will make your child a custom gripper at your request) made her and either squeeze it closed with both hands (one helping the other close the gripper), or she’ll attempt it first with her right hand, and then I’ll encourage her to replicate the effort on her left hand.

A crushing grip is a wonderful thing.  Unless it’s used against you in anger.  Our cats and dog would agree with this sentiment.  I have also felt her rage-fueled titanic grip strength on occasion.  But we’re working on reducing her anger as much as her grip strength.


Hers is the tiny gripper.  The tiny kettlebell also helps increase her grip strength.

Sometimes she opts to work on her pinch grip with her homemade pinch block.  Because a threenager can never have too strong of a pinch grip, right?  Said NO PARENT EVER.


Other times she does one hand deadlifts.  These are one of my favorites.  She actually tries my 70lb kettlebell about once a week, just to see if gravity is fluctuating or constant in our house.


Other times she does kettlebell high pulls.  Usually while I’m trying to watch something on tv that isn’t Dora The Explorer.  How dare I.


Sometimes she improvises and uses a pumpkin as a vertical bar.  This was about half her bodyweight.  Lifted by the stem.  Who says you need to BUY your workout equipment?  This pumpkin was a gift from a friend.


She loves working on her support grip by hanging on the gymnastics rings at open gym.  Working on her rage face is just a side benefit she enjoys.  I call these RAGE HANGS. 


Climbing is fun and works the grip thoroughly.  She likes working on her parkour skills too, so she can more efficiently run away from me at the park – and make me look like an idiot parent.


Occasionally, a barbell is the only thing that will appease her.  I have high hopes that she will join the circus as a performing strongwoman and let me tour with her.


Bike rack?  Or a great way to build grip strength and irritate anyone who wants to store their bike there.






Good old fashioned rope hangs build plenty of grip strength.


I recently bought a Camry grip dynamometer (dyno, for short) with her grip strength testing in mind.  It has a dial that adjusts the handles closer or wider, based on the hand size of the user.  Her hands are small enough that she can fit both hands on the handle.  I placed my hand under the dyno so that she didn’t have to stabilize the unwieldy (for her tiny hands) dyno while she squeezed.  And now we have an easy way to test her grip strength (she also tested each hand, separately) every few months to see the upward progression.  She is fascinated by numbers and strength already.  And this will only help fuel that even more.




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Tiny Overlord Buys A Punching Bag

Well, technically I paid for it.  It was a solid Craigslist find last week.  Josie has asked me several times to punch the freestanding heavy bag since I brought it home.  She has also straddled it and growled it.  And even bitten it at least once.  All part of her esoteric fighting style that she’s working on writing a book about.

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Started working on her punching skills.

Started working on her punching skills.

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Tiny Overlord Begins Her Chess Training


Hmmm…what would Capablanca do?

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Grandpa and Tiny Overlord Ninja Warrior


Walt was asking Josie if he could climb the “warped wall” – which on our makeshift American Ninja Warrior course is her slide.




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Watch “Dinnie Lift” on YouTube

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Watch “Saxon Snatch” on YouTube

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Watch “One Hand Deadlift Tire Axle” on YouTube

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Thumbs Up!

I never get tired of Tiny Overlord giving me the thumbs up, no matter what it’s for.  Sometimes she does it in a facetious manner, which is hilarious.  Other times she does it for little victories – like using two hands to close her custom made gripper.


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Pushup Contest With Tiny Overlord

Josie challenged me to a pushup contest at the park.  So I couldn’t refuse!

Of course she beat me handily.  And then shamed me the entire way back home.  Mocking me repeatedly – “Do you even lift, bro?”

josie and me pushups 8-23-16

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The Swiftly Changing Moods Of Tiny Overlord

The following series of pictures were separated by at most 5 seconds between each individual shot.  First there was sadness.  Then happiness.  Then blistering rage.

Over what?  Uh, I don’t really know.  I was walking beside her while she is learning to ride her Strider.  I didn’t mock her, push her down, cajole her, ridicule her, harangue her, or deride her.

I get quite a bit of entertainment out of her swiftly changing moods.  And sometimes it’s fun to share the visual proof of the mercurial changes in her mood.

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