By Eric Velazquez, NSCA-CPT ProSource
Use these can't-miss grip tips to build better overall grip strength
Beefy, vascular forearms are the aim of every gym rat. Still, not everyone trains in such a way that they have a great shot at getting them. But even fewer forearm-seekers invest in the proper time or use the right training methods to build a grip that can choke the iron out of a barbell.
Josh Bryant, MFS, CSCS, PES, owner of JoshStrength.com and co-author of the eBook "Metroflex Gym Powerbuilding Basics" knows a thing or two about constrictor-like grip -- and he has the forearms to show for it. This is always one of his training aims, and why shouldn't it be? If you want to deadlift more weight, do more pull-ups or add more pounds to your rows, you need to have a grip that is up to the task.
"Grip is important because it serves a purpose in every aspect of weight lifting and athletics," he says.
Here are his favorite techniques for enhancing your grip strength.
"Take a towel and throw it over a pull up bar," says Bryant. "Do pull-ups gripping the towel, not the bar. If you are not able to do a pull-up, even a static hold can help build tremendous grip strength." A few sets to failure on grip day will suffice.
"With this, just pick up heavy dumbbells and walk," he says. Bryant recommends setting a distance, or a certain number of steps and working to beat that mark, or add more pounds, each time you work your grip.
Crushing grip is great but don't forget about pinch grip, or the ability to hold items between your fingers and thumb. "Pinching plates together or holding plates that way for the Farmers Walk or doing hammer curls with them is a great way to train pinch grip." He recommends starting with 5-pounders and working your way up from there.
Besides this, you should limit the use of straps to only your heaviest sets. And if grip strength is proving to be a limitation for you, set some dedicated time aside in your training split, either following your arm workout or on a separate, non-training day, ideally on a day after your back training.