Grip strength is critical when participating in sports, everyday activities, and especially when attempting Ninja Obstacles. Last year, in the American Ninja Warrior Finals, both Drew Drechsel and Sean Bryan both failed in Stage 3 on the Ultimate Cliffhanger. Proper grip strengthening also provides support and strength that can help avoid muscle aches and pains experienced when there is muscle imbalance, or lack of strength. A study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research concluded that grip strength is a predictor of muscular endurance and overall strength. In our ninja warrior training classes, we do a lot of activities to improve every ninja's grip strength. Some of these include dead hang practice and farmer carries. These exercises positively impacts our student's ability to complete obstacles such as our Rings, Cargo Net, Rock Wall, and Ropes. Here are a few exercises you can do at home. Grip Squeezes Inexpensive, easy to use and can be used everywhere. Grip squeezes are the cool gizmos with the spring in the middle. Grip squeezes are very effective and great for grip strength. If you don't have a grip squeeze, you can also use a stress ball or tennis ball. Do 3 sets of 10 squeezes daily. For more fun, use them while watching our favorite TV show, American Ninja Warrior. Finger Strengthening Rubber bands are useful for wrapping around two fingers and opening your fingers apart as wide as possible. 2 Sets of 8 per 2 fingers is effective to balance your finger strength along with your overall grip. Farmer Carries Five to twenty-five pound weights are ideal for Farmer Carries. Holding dumbbells or bar weights and walking 10-20 feet in sets of 10 with 1 minute rests in-between is a great and effective way to improve grip strength. If you don't have weights, use two milk jugs filled with water!