Grip Training

Here are some tips that have helped me overcome the weak link that was my grip.

Now there is always room for improvement, but it is no longer the only limiting factor in my lifting.

  • Ditch the gloves
  • Ditch the lifting straps & hooks
  • Use chalk
  • Push through the burn in the forearms
  • Lift heavy weights
  • Increase the circumference of the barbell/dumbell – you can get creative here, if you dont have access to special equipment, wrap a towel around the bar, grip the bar with a weaker grip, use ropes.
  • Perform farmer’s walks
  • When doing lower rep ranges, use a hook grip:
  • When deadlifting work up using a conventional grip, once grip starts to get compromised, switch to an alternate grip. I wouldn’t recommend reliance on the alternate grip, only on max attempts. Also when the shoulders become the hinge joint I wouldn’t recommend an alternate grip i.e., rows, pulldowns, Romanian deadlifts. (However, alternate grip pullups are quite good for grip & core training)
  • Notice Franco's mixed/alternate grip
  • Shrugs are the one exercise that I use straps for, because it is such a limited range of motion exercise, you can really go heavy and lift weights that you normally wouldn’t be able to budge on other exercises. Here is where I would also not recommend an alternate grip due to the heavy anti-symmetrical forces this would place on the shoulder sockets.
  • I don’t recommend doing any of those wrist curls. I have personally never found these to help in any way other that to cause wrist/joint problems and pain
  • Take up rock climbing, seriously, indoor rock climbing is very fun and nothing works your grip like having to hoist yourself up with one hand while hanging on to a wall
  • Do lots of pullups, following from the above point. Try different grips, dont simply grasp the chinup bar, try using just your fingertips, wrap a towel around the bar, hook a towel over the top, if your gym has rock climbing grips, grab a cage and pullup off the rectangular frame anything that changes the way your hands hold your weight will do!

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