Grip strength is an often overlooked and underappreciated aspect of strength training. After all, you use your grip for things like picking up and holding weights to supporting your bodyweight. If you can’t grip, you’ll have a hard time lifting, even if your other muscles are up for the task.
It’s not just weights, either. If your grip strength isn’t up to par in a pull-up, for example, you wouldn’t be able to pull yourself up. I mean, there could be many other possible weaknesses (crappy core and lats maybe) that keep you from getting stronger, but grip can easily be trained. Breaking Muscle provides a couple of ideas:
- Hanging: Just hang. Hold on to a horizontal bar for dear life for a certain amount of time. The thicker the bar, the harder it is.
- Loaded carries: These are a category of exercises that involves holding various amounts and types of weights in different ways. A farmer’s walk is one example.
- Pinching: Hold a weight plate in your hands and pinch it like you’re holding a sandwich.
- Extensor training: On the other hand, too much gripping can tighten up certain muscles in your forearms. Wrap a rubberband (like those used to wrap broccoli or asparagus) around your fingers and practice opening them up as wide as you can to give attention to your underworked extensor muscles.
Grip training seems like such a “gym bro” thing to do, but gripping things is baked into everyday stuff: You have to open jars, shake hands, hold bags, and so on. Don’t be that person who has a crappy handshake.
The 3 Types of Grip and the 8 Ways to Train Them [Breaking Muscle]