Want the keys to a missing component in your training?
Get a stronger grip.
You can’t lift it if you can’t hold on to it.
I’m fortunate that my good buddy Adam T Glass exposed me to grip training almost 2 decades ago. As you can see below, Adam is a grip monster.
Over the years I’ve added some grip component to almost every client’s protocol, even if they did not realize it (hehe).
How to Work on Grip
Here are a few exercises to work on for a stronger grip and more strength overall.
- Crush/supportive strength. A 2-inch oversized bar works great here. If you do not have an axle 2-inch or fat bar, the blue fat gripz work great for about $30 on Amazon:
- Wrist strength. Use the fat grips above or an axle/oversized bar. Do a deadlift but double overhand (both palms down). Now put your thumb on the SAME side. This is commonly known as a false grip/monkey grip/ or thumbless grip. This works the piss out of your wrist.
- Extended supportive/crush strength. I like the wrist curls that Zach showed above but they can bug some people. My favorite way to do them is from a straight bar lat pulldown. Get into position and allow the bar to get to the end of your fingers and then contract your hand/fingers to pull it back down and repeat. Your arms stay extended overhead the entire time.
- Open hand/finger strength. This is the opposite of crush strength. Just like you may need to row more to bring up your bench, same idea here. Many have very poor open hand/wrist strength that will limit them. My favorite is the open hand plate curl (shown here)
Over time, you can work up to heavier loads but take your time. It took me over 2 years to go from singles with a 25 to lower reps with a 35 lb plate.
- Wrist roller work. Great all around and more specialized, so there is less transfer. Make sure to use one that goes into a power rack; otherwise, your limiting factor is shoulder strength/ not grip. My favorite here is the FBBC in 2 or 3-inch diameter
- Open hand/pinch. If you go super hard down this rabbit hole, any type of pinch work can help too. At the far end of that spectrum and more specialized is a Saxon bar to do pinch deadlifts. Again, not a place to start, just something to think about in the future if you want to get crazy.
I would pick 2 of the items from 1-4 and do one of them at the end of each training session or during. Start with a rep range of 4 -6 but keep it easy and far from failure until your tissue gets more accustomed to it. See how it feels when you play your sport.
Keep us updated!
P.S. For more info like this, check out my 3-step domination plan.