Following on from our previous post about deadlift grip (here), we wanted to talk in more detail about grip training.
Grip training is often overlooked as an unnecessary waste of time, but this is definitely not the case! Without a strong grip many of your lifts will stagnate, most notably – pull-ups, deadlifts and rows. Functionally, for both sports and every day activities, grip strength is key: irrespective of how strong your chest or back is, without adequate grip to execute movement the use of that strength is limited. From an aesthetic point of view, you will rarely see a strong set of biceps on a guy with weak forearms.
The best way to measure your grip strength is to perform a pronated grip deadlift (both palms facing towards your body) without the use of straps or a hook grip. If you are used to using a mixed grip, straps or hook grip you’ll be surprised at how much less you’ll be lifting so check out our video on our top exercises for grip strength:
1. Firstly you have the pronated grip deadlift, this in itself is great for increased grip strength.
2. Fat grip training. Fat bars or grips will improve your grip whichever exercise you use them with, although using them on the deadlift is probably the most challenging.
3. Dumbbell wrist curls. Ok, this may look a little silly in the gym, but trust us – this exercise works! Superset them into your program to make the best use of your time: we often superset with dumbbell presses. Because of the limited range on this exercise, you will need around 15 reps to get a decent time under tension.
4. Plate holds: surprisingly difficult! Squeeze two plates together in the same hand and try to hold for 30 seconds: two 10kg plates is impressive; two 20kg plates and you’re entering the realms of strongman athletes!
5. Farmers walk. Grab the heaviest pair of dumbbells you can lift and walk for 20 paces, don’t drop them on your, or anyone else’s, toes!
By including these exercises into your programming you’ll see your grip strength soar and will feel so much stronger in everyday life. Judge it for yourself: measure your current grip strength by testing how much you can deadlift with a pronated grip; include these grip training exercises into your training for 5-6 weeks; re-test your maximum pronated grip deadlift and see how much you have improved.
Let us know how you get on. Happy training!