Grip Strength

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Falling off the bar doing pull ups? Can’t pick up that heavy weight? Can’t hold onto that heavy snatch while pulling? Your weak hands are to blame. 

For most athletes grip strength is their limiting factor. We have methods to over ride our limited grip strength such as using straps to deadlift or using the hook grip on olympic lifts. Those methods will help, but they are not increasing your grip strength. 

First let me define grip strength. It can be pinching, crushing, and endurance. 
 1) Pinching is fingers and thumb
 2) Crushing is mostly the fingers (hand shake)
 3) Endurance is how long your grip lasts. 

Most people do not need dedicated grip training if they follow a few simple pointers for their daily gym routine. 
 1) Never use straps or mixed grip on lifts
 2) Never use two hands to carry a plate, pinch grip them and carry them to your station
 3) Never drop the bar *

* Too many people a too comfortable dropping the bar. Often see this with very light weight (which results in holes in the wall). Unless it is a safety issue or a maximal weight, you should be able to lower it under control. If you are dropping 95/65 pounds after every rep then it is too heavy for you. This will definitely help you learn to control the weights better and improve your grip at the same time. 

There are also methods you can do to improve your grip strength besides the basic daily things you can do above. 
 1) Use a gripper. These are great at developing crushing strength and endurance
 2) Use fat grips. If you have never tried to do pull ups or lifts with an axle or fat grips these can be very challenging. 
 3) Farmers Carry. Load up some weight and go for a walk
 4) Towel/Rope Pull Ups
 5) Plate pinches - Grab two plates, put them together, pick them up with one hand. 
 6) Bar Hang - Jump onto a bar and see how long you can stay up there

Remember you are only as strong as your weakest link.

  

Crossfit Bytown