Grip strength is an underrated tool in a lifters arsenal. Big biceps, a big bench press and huge legs are great but fundamentally strength is picking up something heavy, if you can’t grip it your other muscles are effectively useless.
I now want to share with you some key information on how to train your grip, so you can really begin to utilize your strength.
What Is Grip Strength?
The first thing you need to do if you want to build up grip strength is take your lifting straps and throw them far away from your gym bag. That’s right if you want to build your grip every day you need to be in the gym preforming your pulling exercises with no straps. Pull downs, pull ups, bent over rows and single arm dumbbell rows all train your grip. Although straps have a place in the weight room for advanced lifters for the most part it is better to train without them.
A lot of people go to straps because they can’t grip bars because they sweat and it slips. Invest in some lifting chalk and go to a gym that allows it, I’ve personally found if you are careful and tidy with it most gyms will let you use it. This provides you with dry hands and a much better grip but still trains your hands to do the work. Mixed grip (one hand facing towards you the other facing away from you on the bar) on deadlifts can also make a huge difference.
What Grip Exercises Can I Do?
✓ Plate grips are when you take two plates together with the smooth back side facing out on each side and pinch the plates with your fingers and hold for as long as possible. You can use two 5lbs, 10lbs or even 25lbs plates, it just depends what level you are at. These are great to finish up with as a fun challenge.
✓ Farmer’s carries can be done with dumbbells, kettle bells, a hex-deadlift bar or even 45lbs plates. You simply pick a weight up in each hand and walk. You can do a designated distance, to failure or a combination of the two.
✓ Forearm curls are another key exercise as they contribute directly to how you grip anything. Sit on a flat bench and hold a barbell in both hands over the end of the bench with the backs of both forearms flat down. Allow the barbell to roll down to the end of your fingers and then curl it back up by flexing your wrists back to a horizontal position repeat this for sets of 20-25 reps. This is a highly effective movement and will leave you pretty sore so I would also use this as a finisher to your workouts.
Take Home Message
Grip strength is imperative to being strong. You will be able to train your main muscles harder and longer if you can hold bigger weights for a longer length of time. This leads to greater strength and muscle gains in the gym. Add these tips and exercises to your training and watch your results drastically improve.