Grip strength is a crucial element of training for almost all athletes, including Olympic weightlifters, CrossFitters, climbers, gymnasts and various other strength training athletes. Your grip is that contact point which ultimately can mean that you achieve your goal or not, even if the rest of your body is primed to take on the challenge. This article will guide you on how to increase your grip strength.
Firstly, it’s important to know that there are three types of grip – crush, pinch and support. A crush grip is created between your fingers and palm (like a fist), your pinch grip is the grip between your thumb and fingers, while your support grip is used to maintain a hold objects for a period of time. Each grip type requires separate training to improve it, and different sports require different grip types and grip strength.
What would be ideal is to increase your grip strength across all three types, and for that reason here are several tips and training exercises to help you take your overall grip strength to new heights…
* Don’t use any support straps, like wrist straps which wrap around your wrist and the bar. Wrist support wraps are fine, as they don’t help you grip.
* Stop using chalk and allow yourself to increase your grip strength naturally. Still ensure your hands and the object you’re gripping are dry. The added pressure of closing your grip and holding on tighter every time will increase grip strength.
* Squeeze as hard as you can on every grip until your knuckles goes white. By starting right, with maximum grip, you have a better chance of initiating that solid grip and maintaining it.
* Work your forearms too! Often you lose grip due to massive fatigue in your forearm – think of workouts with hi-reps of pull-ups. Don’t neglect your forearms.
* Fat bar training is a great way to increase your grip strength. Easily one of the best ways to increase grip and forearm strength is to do various normal workouts using a thicker bar.
* Rope climbs are also great in increasing your grip strength. Learning how to do rope climbs using your legs for support and moving onto more complex rope climbs like legless, L-sit and eventually inverted rope climbs will do your grip wonders.
* Do more static holds. Try holding a deadlift for a few seconds at the top of lift. Getting those extra seconds in at the top ensures a better lift and will also help increase your grip strength a lot.
* Do grip hangs. Hang a towel or rope over a pull-up bar or workout rig and and do pull-ups by gripping onto the ends of the rope or towel.
* Do farmers walks using kettlebells, barbells, and even bumper plates. Try doing several lengths in intervals to push yourself to failure.
* Hold a weight plate with a pinch grip and slowly work up to heavier weights. Eventually make your way to holding two or more steel fractional plates against each other and pulling them off the ground (smooth sides facing outwards).