Undervalued Strength Metrics - Your Grip! 🤝

Edition#2

This is the first in the series, which I’m going to name “Undervalued Strength Metrics”. Today’s focus is on Grip Strength.

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It might seem trivial, but for a lot of people, grip strength is a weakness that should be addressed.

Not only will it allow you to hold onto the bar longer performing deadlifts or pull-ups without straps (in the case you have hit failure through grip strength and not musculature failure on your target muscle or movement), but it aids in day to day life! Like carrying all your shopping in one trip, opening a jar, or shaking your girlfriends dads hand for the first time 🤝.

Forearm training (Barbell Wrist curls & Reverse Wrist curls) are a staple in the chinese national olympic weightlifting teams training, due to the amount of forearm extension used in weightlifting. It keeps their wrists healthy and maintains a strength balance.

So although it may seem boring and not “functional” having a strong grip is definitely functional.

A Study by (Leong et al., 2015), found that a strong grip is also correlated to lower mortality rates. So it’s all upsides! 👌

You also want to be a one trip person after all ⬇️

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The 5 Measurements Of Grip Strength:

Crushing - Think of a strong handshake. Grip Trainers or Crushers should be your go to for strengthening this. “Captains of Crush” or “Gods of Grip” would be my recommendation.

Pinching - Holding something between your thumb & finger tips. Plate Pinches are simple to incorporate into your programme. Before putting plates back on the rack, just stand and hold them.

Support - One trip life. Hanging onto a Pullup bar or Farmers Carry. Various training modalities can be used here. Deadhangs from a pullup bar, farmer carries with an implement or dumbbells, or try adding fat grips to a barbell and just stand and hold it.

Extension - Opening your hand and extending your fingers. You can buy a pair of bands (Hand Expanders) from amazon cheaply. This is worth while training to keep your hands healthy, working the opposite muscles used when crushing and pinching.

Wrist / Forearm Strength - Opening a bottle of water? Dumbbell grip curls, Barbell wrist curls, Reverse wrist curls or even a dedicated wrist roller implement - there’s plenty of choices here.

How to Implement?

Most grip work is locally fatiguing and doesn’t impact systemic fatigue much on the whole body, except heavy farmers carries…they’ll wreck you.

Crushing and extension can even be done sitting on the couch watching netflix with a gripper and expanders, a couple of nights a week!

Decide on how important it is to you and how much of a weakness it may be.

A 5-10 minute way to add this into your training at the end ⬇️

Day 1: 5 sets of 30-45s, Dead Hang from a Pullup bar supersetted with 10-20 repetitions of Barbell Grip Curls (Increase time or weight as your progress and get stronger).

Day 2: 5 sets of 10-15 repetitions of Reverse Barbell Wrist Curls supersetted with 30-45s Plate Pinches (again increase weight & time as you get stronger).

Your Crushing and Extension is done whenever you see fit!

Above is just a sample “Bolt on” programme, covering all aspects of grip strength (provided your crushing at night watching tv), and is something you can add in to your current training.

You can mix and match movements as you see fit, add volume, reduce volume, not superset, it’s your call. If it’s a priority for you then you may need to do more grip work than this, above is a starting point however.

A full length article on grip strength will be published on the website in due course.

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You could train your grip as shown below, i guess you would still be training the support aspect 🧐

Happy Lifting,

Mark.