Building a stronger grip will bring you many benefits. In training it will help you lift more weight without your hands quickly becoming tired before the rest of the body starts giving in. This is a common phenomenon, especially in exercises like high-rep stiff-legged deadlifts or pullups, because your whole body will always be much stronger than just your hands. When meeting people and introducing yourself, a stronger grip will result in a stronger handshake which will leave a positive impression on the other person. But are there any ways to train your grip without adding a lot of extra exercises and training time to your already busy workout schedule? Yes, there are.
The Easiest Way
There’s different types of grip strength like crushing strength (like in handshaking), pinching (tips of fingers) and supporting grip strength (holding heavy objects) and wrist/forearm strength. The easiest way to build a stronger grip is to simply do it by including supplementary grip work into your regular training.
This will develop all the different types of grip strength more or less equally well. Once you have built a good foundation of grip strength with this method you can start specializing on one or more of the different specific grip strengths. Just make the exercises mentioned below a part of your regular training and you will get a ton of great grip exercise without too much hassle. This will save you a lot of time while still delivering excellent results.
Hanging Leg Raises
This exercise mainly works yourcore and lower abs but it also works your supporting grip strength significantly.
After all, if all of your bodyweight is hanging down, supported only by your hands that are tightly gripping the bar, this will certainly have a positive effect on your grip strength over time. Depending on how much you weigh and how long you hang from the bar your hands will get quite a strength-building workout – automatically.
Deadlifts will develop your grip strength as long as you don’t use any straps or hooks to you help hold the bar.
When done correctly, the deadlift works almost every single main muscle in your body. And while your body as a whole is pretty strong and can therefore move serious weights in this exercise, a chain is only as strong as it’s weakest link and this will obviously be your hand strength, or lack thereof. You cannot properly finish a good set of deadlifts if your hands are failing long before the rest of your body is done.
Some trainees work around this by using hooks and straps but unless you’re attempting maximum-strength low reps it might be a better idea to ditch any support gear and develop your hand strength by adding weight in the deadlift slowly but progressively.
The farmer’s walk is a fancy sounding name for a surprinsingly simple if not downright primitive exercise. Simply grab two of the heaviest dumbbells you can find and hold them at the side of your hips with arms fully extended.
Kind of like if you were carrying two buckets of water or milk – hence the name farmer’s walk.
Then simply walk over whatever distance you can carry them. Start with 40 lbs per dumbbell or so and build the weight up quickly – up to whatever number you can safely handle. Seriously heavy weights in this exercises will give your grip one hell of a workout. Farmer’s walks are best done as a finisher exercise after you’re done with your regular workout.
There are special bars with a much thicker diameter. Thick-bar training is a great way to build a stronger grip.
But bars with thicker-than-normal diameter are usually hard to come by. Chances are your gym won’t have them and buying one is neither cheap nor practical and it would be pointless unless you already train in your own home gym. But there is a great and inexpensive solution to this and it’s called Fat Gripz. You can wrap them around the iron bar of any barbell or dumbbell – and even use them when doing pullups.Fat Gripz fit all barbells, dumbbells, chin-up bars and cable attachments, making the bar more than twice as thick – in seconds! They are made of a very strong and durable compound that does not bend or deform, even under heavy loads.
Forget Other Stuff For Now
Then there are other exercises that train your grip more directly. These are usually done with specialized grip training devices like the Ivanko Super Gripper or the Captains of Crush. And you can even do stuff like wrist-roller training or get fancy machines like the Titan’s Telegraph Key. All these are fantastic grip training devices but unless you want to really specialize in this area it may be too much of a stretch to get and use them.
By simply including the above mentioned exercises into your regular workouts and making simple changes to your regular workouts your will already do a lot for your grip strength development. Just keep at it, give it time and you will see your grip strength improve almost magically.