How do I improve my grip strength

Increase Grip Strength During Deadlifts - Here's How To Do It Right

Those who have been training for a while are often familiar with this situation: You are deadlifting, you can still do a lot with your legs and back, but the bar keeps slipping out of your hands and can hardly be held safely. You are forced to end the sentence "prematurely". The grip strength is simply not enough.
 

Not every solution offered is really a solution

The trade has a seductively simple solution for this problem: pulling aids in the form of loops that you wrap around the barbell and wrists. The gripping muscles are relieved and lo and behold, you create more weight. But be careful - what looks like a logical measure at first glance turns out to be a dead end on closer inspection! A chain is only as strong as its weakest link. If a muscle in the chain is too weak, it must be specifically trained. If you want a hardened body, you cannot afford to take the path of least resistance. If you simply leave out the weak link during training, it can never get stronger. The scissors will continue to diverge. As a result, you will increasingly have problems with other exercises - including those that you would probably not associate with grip strength at all. Strong muscles around the wrist protect you from symptoms of overload and are often the basic requirement for being able to perform exercises properly at all. For example, it prevents you from developing tendinitis from biceps curls or from osteoarthritis in your wrists from the bench press.

So we hold on:
Instead of avoiding the lack of grip strength, you should work towards ensuring that your grip strength gradually adjusts to your remaining strength level.
 

Correctly done deadlifts will naturally improve your grip strength

The first step is to take the pulling straps to where they belong: in the bin! No ifs and buts! From now on you won't need them anymore! You'll grit your teeth and hold the bar in your hand for as long as you can while deadlifting! It's much tougher, more disciplined and deserves more respect than shitting yourself to push more weight. Weight isn't everything.

Now you may object that you will then no longer be able to train to the maximum. So what?! During the deadlift, the testosterone release is so intense that you will still continue to make good progress all over your body. What makes the deadlift such an effective exercise is not so much the muscle tension from the weight itself, but rather the testosterone release. It's so enormous that even muscles that you haven't trained at all can easily grow with it. In addition, when you train without pulling straps, you are very much going to the maximum - precisely with the muscles that urgently need to be stronger.

The better a muscle is already built, the slower it will make further progress. A muscle that has been neglected so far is not that well built and will therefore make faster progress. Your gripping muscles will therefore tighten relatively quickly.
 

Useful additional training for the forearms

Nevertheless, it is advisable to do separate exercises for the muscles around the wrist in parallel. At first, I would rather recommend isolation exercises, as these are the most targeted at addressing the problem.

A wrist trainer, for example, offers good options for this. Another useful isolation exercise is wrist bends with the dumbbell. With the wrist trainer, you specifically train the muscles that are responsible for gripping, while flexing the wrist, additional forearm muscles come into play, which are very important for wrist stability.

Another option would be what is known as wrist rolling. To do this, tie a weight plate to a sturdy rope or rope and attach the other end to a rod. The exercise consists in rolling up the rope on the bar and lowering it again. The rotary movement takes place towards the body.

If you feel that your grip strength has improved, after a while you can move on to only doing exercises for other muscle groups on the side. This saves time and also trains the coordinative interaction of the muscles involved. As a result, your body learns not only to build up strength, but also how to actually use the muscles optimally in practice.

For example, lunges with dumbbells would be conceivable for this. They burn almost more in the forearms than in the legs and that means something. Rope climbing would also be an option.

For an advanced athlete, some of these exercises should always be included in the training plan. Which and how many depends on the individual requirements.

I recommend doing the exercises on a different day than the deadlift. In this way you avoid the strain becoming too great and give the forearm muscles enough time to regenerate.
 

The right rep range

To build muscle, isolated wrist exercises should be done around 15 repetitions, a little more than other exercises. There are reasons for that. In reality, the decisive factor for building muscle is not the number of repetitions, but the time that the muscle is under tension. Most of the exercises take about the same repetition time. Therefore, it has proven to be useful in practice to simply count the repetitions. In wrist exercises, however, the range of motion is so short that a repetition is much faster. In the time you do 10 reps on other exercises, you can do about 15 with your wrists.

The wrists should also be trained more often in the strength endurance area. In this case, this corresponds to at least 20-25 repetitions. What is required of your hand flexor and gripping muscles is, above all, persistent holding work. While other muscles have phases where muscle tension is decreasing, your grasping muscles have to stay tense through full grenades for the entire set to hold on to the weight. Often the forearm muscles do not lack the strength so much, but more the strength endurance.
 

Avoid imbalances

It is advisable to also train the opponents of the hand flexor and gripping muscles. This brings additional stability to your wrists and prevents one-sided strength development. Wrist extensions with the dumbbell, biceps curls in the overhand grip (the palms point towards the floor), triceps presses on the cable pulley with underhand grip (the back of the hand towards the floor), or rolling up with rotation away from the body are suitable for this.

By the way, you don't need to worry that your training units will become excessively long due to all the forearm training. Wrist exercises are quick and easy and, if necessary, can be done at home before going to bed.

 
So, get rid of useless loops and get on your iron!

 
Image source:
jalephoto / 123RF Stock Photo