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Easy ways to improve your grip strength

A very common issue within a gym is someone having a weak grip. There are a number of reasons for this but one of the more common is due to people reliance on gloves & straps etc. They help you to lift more which is what a lot of people look for but don't add to your "image". People show off their abs but you don't see people going around comparing grip strength or proudly stating "I've got very good grip strength".

Some of the benefits of have a good grip are:

  • Increased strength on pull movements - ever failed a deadlift because your grip has gone? this can be rectified by improved grip strength.

  • Better functionality - In short, picking things up, day to day life, hand shakes, opening bottles, using pliers.

Ways to improve grip strength:

  1. Stop using straps - It sounds simple but removing your straps and testing your grip with each lift will help to improve it. Your numbers may fall slightly at first but your long term benefits will thank you for it. Save the straps for PBs and similar.

  2. Work the forearms - By implementing exercises into your regime that work the forearm you will be in turn increasing your grip. Reverse and hammer curls work the forearms compared to normal bicep curls. If you push yourself to failure on these types or curls then your forearms and grip will have to play a big role in the exercise.

  3. Farmers Walks - Simply put, hold something heavy and walk. It doesn't matter what it is and a variety of grip types will help but grab a dumbbell, sandbag, plate, kettlebell and go for a walk. You reply on your grip to hold the heavy item and this will help to improve it. It is an event in strongman and will transfer over into day to day life. We've all joked before about having to carry every bag of shopping from the car into the house in one go. This is literally the same thing and once you start doing farmers walks you'll be adding extra bags in no time!!

  4. Use fat handles - using fat handled dumbbells or add-ons means that during that exercise the hands and fingers are having to work harder than during a lift with regulation size bars. This will help to strengthen them and improve your grip.

  5. Dead hangs - Similar to farmers walks but these rely on holding yourself up instead of carrying something. Simply hang from a chin/pull up bar and see how long you can go for, then repeat and try to beat your time each occasion. That could be the same session or weekly it doesn't matter but practicing dead hangs has good grip benefits alongside other benefits.

In summary - don't neglect your grip, it's more important than you think.

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