Varigrip Exercise Tips

Close-up of a young man playing the guitar

Musicians use the Varigrip Hand Exerciser to strengthen hands and fingers, to warm up before a performance or as a rehabilitation tool. Varigrip is a small, hand-held device that rests on your palm and has four springs for each finger. The thumb holds the side of the device.

Choose Level of Resistance

The Varigrip comes in five different resistance levels. Start with the easiest option and work your way up. Cando Varigrip hand exercisers are color-coded so you can choose the correct level. The Cando Varigrip extra-light hand exerciser is yellow. This device offers 1.5 lbs. of pressure. Once you can exercise with it easily at the highest tension possible, move up to the light option, which is red. This hand exerciser offers up to double the pressure of the extra-light one, letting you select 3 lbs. of pressure. From there, move up to the medium option of 5 lbs. of pressure. The medium Cando Varigrip hand exerciser is green. The heavy and then extra-heavy Varigrip hand exercisers are next. Try the heavy once the medium is no longer challenging. The blue heavy exerciser offers 7 lbs. of pressure. Go up to the black extra-heavy option, which gives you 9 lbs. of pressure. Other manufacturers may use different color-coding, but always start with the easiest option and work up.

Adjust Finger Tension

The individual fingers of the Varigrip hand exercisers have the ability to be adjusted with a thumbscrew. You can make the pinky finger spring easier to squeeze than the index finger, for example. This lets you make exercising with the hand exerciser customizable. Adjust the springs with the included thumbscrew so that each finger is working at what feels to you like the same intensity. Once the exercises become easy at a high tension level, try a new hand exerciser that offers more pressure. Keep your old ones in case you take a break or suffer an injury and your hands become weak again.

Build Calluses

Calluses are essential for musicians but can be lost quickly if your fingers don't touch strings consistently. Keep or build finger calluses by using the simulated guitar strings on your Varigrip. Reverse the molded grip to reveal simulated strings that you can press against during exercise instead of the smooth grips. Take the molded piece off the palm bar and place it over the individual finger pads.

Isolate Fingers or Hand for Exercise

Use the Varigrip to exercise individual fingers or the whole hand together to strengthen the forearm muscles. Go down the line pressing one finger at a time, using different tension levels for each finger, or push down with all your fingers toward your palms using the highest resistance level you are able to use.