The key to being one strong son of a bitch is at your fingertips…literally. While everyone’s impressed with a strong chest or back, you can’t build either of those without developing a strong grip.
Grip strength is an often overlooked, but extremely important part of the strength training puzzle. Without strong hands and forearms, your lifts are going to suffer.
Not only will a strong grip give you an impressive and intimidating handshake, it will also help you lift more weight, especially in the pulling movements like deadlifts and rows.
But a strong grip also helps you with other exercises. The harder you can grip the bar or dumbbell, the more tension you create, which helps you keep good form and lift more weight. A strong grip also helps your endurance, making it easier to perform higher repetition sets.
Let’s take a look different ways to build your grip strength.
Strong Grip Tips
Deadlift Overhand Until You Can’t
Many people when they deadlift use a mixed grip (one hand over, one hand under) because it’s stronger. However, when it comes to building grip strength, you want to be using a double-overhand grip.
When deadlifting, use the double-overhand grip until you can’t anymore. Use it on all your warm-up sets, and until the weight becomes too heavy on your working sets. You can then switch to a mixed grip, but the extra work with the double-overhand grip will build a lot of strength in your hands and forearms.
Use Fat Gripz, Thick Bars, and Towels
Increasing the thickness of the bar or dumbbell forces you to open your hand more, thus weakening your grip. Using thick bars or handles, wrapping towels around the bar, or using Fat Gripz all work by increasing the thickness of the implement handle and help build crushing grip strength and massive forearms.
Do Heavy Rack Pulls and Shrugs
Limited grip strength plays probably the biggest role during the deadlift. And the best way to train this with big weight is with rack pulls and shrugs.
These exercises allow you to handle more weight because you’re not going through the full range of motion of a deadlift. This lets you get the feel for what it’s like holding big weight and train your grip specifically. No straps allowed.
Bonus points for doing these with a fat bar or Fat Gripz.
Do Farmer’s Walks
I already talked about the importance of farmer’s walks for building grip strength in this article, so I won’t rehash it here.
TL;DR farmer’s walks are fucking fantastic for building a strong grip.
Do Towel Pull-Ups
If you really want to fatigue your grip, try doing towel pull-ups. These really work the forearms.
This is pretty easy. Simply pick up something and hold it. Pick up a barbell, dumbbell, kettlebell, or anything and hold if for as long as you can. This can also be done by holding the top or bottom of a pull-up.
The additional benefits of holds are that you are also working all the muscles used during that portion of the lift. So for example, if you are holding the top portion of a pull-up, you are also strengthening all the other muscles used during that portion of the movement.
The importance of grip strength cannot be understated. A strong grip will help you build a stronger everything. Use these tips to start getting a stronger grip, and everything else, today.