Increasing Grip Strength

It doesn’t take much imagination to realise that having a good strong grip in everyday life in general is important, but having a strong grip in weight training is even more important. It’s a fact that the heavier weights get, the harder it becomes to grip them unless grip strength is actively worked on. That’s why the guys who lift extremely heavy use straps.

Now, you know why it’s important. But, what exactly can we do to increase grip strength? Are there any specialist exercises we can use to ensure our weights, and goals, don’t begin slipping through our fingers? The answer, thankfully, is yes!

Grip strength originates in the forearm, so it’s the forearm muscles we must target in order to increase our grip strength.

In a nutshell, we need to hit both sides of the forearm: the underside (visible when the palm is facing upward), and the top side (visible when the palm is facing downward).

Building the underside of the forearm:

We can exert much more strength from the underside of the forearm than the top side, and when the underside is fatigued, we generally have a very hard time gripping anything – so it’s important that you train the underside last, giving the weaker top side a workout while your grip is still strong.

Ok. You are going to perform a wrist/forearm curl now. You can either use a barbell and do it two handed, or perform it singularly using a dumbbell.

Dumbbell variation: Sitting on a bench with a dumbbell in your hand, palm facing upward, forearm resting on thigh and wrist hanging over the edge of the knee, keep the forearm stationary whilst curling up the wrist as high as you can, and slowly lower. You can use your free arm to hold your other arm stationary.

Barbell variation: Simply perform as instructed above, but this time, two hands will be used. Grip should be fairly close, but can be made wider if you feel more comfortable that way.

Building the top side of the forearm:

Remember – you perform this side first, because its weaker, once it’s fatigued, the results aren’t quite so impacting upon the regular wrist curls which are still strong enough to perform well. You’ll also have to use a fair amount less weight for this exercise.

Dumbbell variation: Perform as you would above, only this time the palm is facing downward.

Barbell variation: Again, perform in the same way as above, but with both palms downward.

The forearms are easily built, and the size and power you’ll soon acquire from directly working the forearms will both shock and please you.

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