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  1. #1
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    My Grip is Failing Me During Deadlifts

    Hey guys,

    I have a problem: I've just upped the weight on deadlifts to 190 lbs. My back can handle this weight, but my arms and hands can't. I've tried wearing gloves yet my grip still fails me. In fact, I can't complete all 8 reps solely because my hands lose grip and the barbell falls. It's really a pain because my back CAN handle the weight, but my grip is failing me. What can I do to alleviate this problem?

    Thanks, everyone :-)
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  2. #2
    Registered User InExileVt's Avatar
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    My grip was lacking but my deadlift was moving higher. So I bought straps. That was fine in the short term but now I find that my grip strength is lacking. I had asked about grip exercises a while back in the powerlifting section. Bigtallox reco'ed some exercises and provided some video as well. I'd take a look at that. I don't regret the dl gains but I do wish I had focused more on grip stregth all along.
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  3. #3
    Barkley Farlesworth II Farley1324's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Swanky View Post
    Hey guys,

    I have a problem: I've just upped the weight on deadlifts to 190 lbs. My back can handle this weight, but my arms and hands can't. I've tried wearing gloves yet my grip still fails me. In fact, I can't complete all 8 reps solely because my hands lose grip and the barbell falls. It's really a pain because my back CAN handle the weight, but my grip is failing me. What can I do to alleviate this problem?

    Thanks, everyone :-)
    Gloves will probably not help and may make it more difficult. Get rid of them.

    Use chalk.

    Keep doing what you can. Just like with anything else your body will adapt and your weak point in the movement, in this case your grip, will start to catch up.

    I would talk to you about alternate grip or hook grip, but at only 190 pounds your grip is just plain weak and you need to work on it.

    How frequently do you deadlift? What other pulling exercises do you do?
    Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.

    MFC
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  4. #4
    Banned Swanky's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Farley1324 View Post
    Gloves will probably not help and may make it more difficult. Get rid of them.

    Use chalk.

    Keep doing what you can. Just like with anything else your body will adapt and your weak point in the movement, in this case your grip, will start to catch up.

    I would talk to you about alternate grip or hook grip, but at only 190 pounds your grip is just plain weak and you need to work on it.

    How frequently do you deadlift? What other pulling exercises do you do?
    Thanks, man. Will try the chalk. My whole routine is as follows ( 3 x 8 for all exercises):
    Mon - Chest: Barbell Bench Press (Flat, Inc, Dec.)
    D'bell Flyes (Flat, Inc.)

    Tue - Bi's/tri's: Skullcrushers
    Close Grip Bench Press
    D'bell Overhead Extensions
    D'bell Kickbacks
    Preacher Curls
    Incline D'bell Curls
    Hammer Curls

    Wed - Legs: Behind Back Hack Squat (Home gym, so no squat rack, hence no squatting)
    D'bell Lunges
    Leg Curls
    Seated Calf Raises

    Thur- Traps/Shoulders: D'bell Shrugs
    D'bell Upright Rows
    Front Raises
    Lateral Raises
    B/over Laterals
    D'bell Shoulder Press

    Fri - Back: Deadlifts
    T-Bar Rows
    Bentover Barbell Rows
    D'bell Rows
    Lat Pulldowns

    I haven't been traing for long (only a few months).
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  5. #5
    Barkley Farlesworth II Farley1324's Avatar
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    Really put work in on those lunges.
    Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.

    MFC
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    Originally Posted by InExileVt View Post
    My grip was lacking but my deadlift was moving higher. So I bought straps. That was fine in the short term but now I find that my grip strength is lacking. I had asked about grip exercises a while back in the powerlifting section. Bigtallox reco'ed some exercises and provided some video as well. I'd take a look at that. I don't regret the dl gains but I do wish I had focused more on grip stregth all along.
    Thanks. Interesting. I'll work on my grip rather than resort to straps (just as you wished you had).
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  7. #7
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    Originally Posted by Farley1324 View Post
    Really put work in on those lunges.
    It's such a hard exercise to do. I don't mean the technique; I mean the exercise itself -- lunges -- really take it out of me and leave me feeling drained.
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  8. #8
    Barkley Farlesworth II Farley1324's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Swanky View Post
    Thanks. Interesting. I'll work on my grip rather than resort to straps (just as you wished you had).
    Using straps for the deadlift and adding additional direct grip work to make up for that is a viable alternative, at least if you don't plan to compete in powerlifting. For example, you might use straps for the deadlifts but then, after that, do some static holds with heavy weight. Just load the bar up with deadlift weight, or MORE, on safety pins so you only have to lift the weight a few inches to get into the top/finishing position of a deadlift and just stand there with the weight. Weighted hangs (like a weighted chinup but you just hang there) are useful as well.

    Remember that there are three basic types of hand strength, generally speaking. Static, crushing and pinch. Static is what you use for deadlift and what you need to train in order to get a stronger "raw" deadlift.


    Originally Posted by Swanky View Post
    It's such a hard exercise to do. I don't mean the technique; I mean the exercise itself -- lunges -- really take it out of me and leave me feeling drained.
    Since you cannot currently squat you need to put some work in with the lunges.
    Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.

    MFC
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    Originally Posted by Swanky View Post
    Hey guys,

    I have a problem: I've just upped the weight on deadlifts to 190 lbs. My back can handle this weight, but my arms and hands can't. I've tried wearing gloves yet my grip still fails me. In fact, I can't complete all 8 reps solely because my hands lose grip and the barbell falls. It's really a pain because my back CAN handle the weight, but my grip is failing me. What can I do to alleviate this problem?

    Thanks, everyone :-)
    Troll?

    6'2" 204 lbs and cant DL 190 raw?!? get the fuark outa here
    DO YOU EVEN LIFT?
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  10. #10
    Barkley Farlesworth II Farley1324's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by HoneycombBandit View Post
    Troll?

    6'2" 204 lbs and cant DL 190 raw?!? get the fuark outa here
    DO YOU EVEN LIFT?
    I'd say that if he complains about not being able to complete 8 reps with that weight he can in fact deadlift it. I'm guessing for ~6 reps. Maybe 7?


    Everybody has to start somewhere.


    Now, OP joined in Dec of 2009, but those two things alone are not enough, IMO, to go off calling him a troll and all that jazz
    Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.

    MFC
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  11. #11
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    Originally Posted by Farley1324 View Post
    I'd say that if he complains about not being able to complete 8 reps with that weight he can in fact deadlift it. I'm guessing for ~6 reps. Maybe 7?


    Everybody has to start somewhere.


    Now, OP joined in Dec of 2009, but those two things alone are not enough, IMO, to go off calling him a troll and all that jazz
    Thanks, Farley. Will try the static weighted grip technique you suggest doing after deadlifts with straps.

    By the way, you're right: I get to 6 reps before my grip gives out. As I wrote earlier, my back could take more weight, though.

    Honeycombbandit: I'm not trolling. I've only been lifting for about 3 months, after a 12-month hiatus. Yes, I know my grip is weak as ****. This is why I came to the Exercise Forum; I wanted some advice on how to get better grip-strength.
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    That is good, I love when my grip fails doing deadlifts, means it got a good work out and will get stronger, don't use straps.. It will catch up.. You can add some weighted chin-ups and twice a week grip work in there maybe.
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    Long solution: Get a stronger grip.
    Short solution: Get straps or even better, Versa Gripps. Just got a pair myself. Was able to deadlift 415 with switch grip only, and with the Versa's I can pull 415 with a double overhand. A litte on the expensive side but worth it so far in my opinion!
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    Originally Posted by Farley1324 View Post
    Use chalk.
    This basically...

    I had the same problem not so long ago, even when using straps my grip failed (probably because i didn't use them properly but that's neither here nor there as i hated using them, but i didnt want my deadlift to suffer either)

    The last deadlift day, a guy seen me using straps, said i should just use chalk, i told him how terrible my grip was and i needed the straps, he insisted that i should try the chalk, so i did. I'm glad i did.

    It was the best deadlift session i had to date, my grip felt so strong. New PB and no straps!! I wish i had got the chalk a long time ago.

    Another thing, on my last session I noticed that I was really squeezing the bar, I was literally trying to crush the bar in my hands whereas before I think i just tried to hold it in my hands. I think that along with the chalk helped big time...
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    I vote for the chalk if you can, and straps if you can't use chalk or it isnt enough.

    My grip has been struggling to keep up with my deadlift ever since I've started deadlift consistantly again. My grip has improved A LOT over the last 8 months but still limits me from time to time.

    I have found doing a couple of sets of shrugs with about 80-90% of my top deadlift weight for that day till grip failure seems to really help.... also DB row have always helped me too. Still I barely manage to keep my grip strength up to par
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  16. #16
    Registered User Protege385's Avatar
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    How can a 200+ lb man fail to grip >200 lbs?
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    Support our Troops Armbender's Avatar
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    Here are a couple of my routines for Hand/Wrist/ and Forearms

    Grip & Forearm Training is one of my favorite Workouts...You have to be careful and really listen to your body as the muscles and tendons involved are extrememly small and can be overtrained very easily. These two workouts have been extremely successful for me over the past couple years;
    __________________________________________________ ______________________________

    Workout #1
    Side Levers (3" thick PVC Pipe with weight fitted at 1 side) or a sledgehammer

    Simply rotate the Sledge 180 degrees so the weight is on the other end for 1 rep.


    3 Sets 12 Reps

    Front Levers


    3 Sets 12 Reps

    Stand with the weight at your side, start with the weight towards the floor, slowly control the weight upwards locking your elbow for 1 rep

    Plate Wrist Curls (Try using 2 plates flush side out for the width)

    3 Sets 10-12 Reps

    Reverse Curls (Thumbs out)
    Side Hammers (Thumbs out)
    Front Hammers
    Standing barbell wrist curls in front
    Reverse Wrist Curls

    ^^^3 Sets 6-8 Reps^^^
    __________________________________________________ _______________________________

    Workout #2
    (1 1/4" thick Rope, 10' long, hooked to a pulley at lowest level with you seated on the floor, 10' back from the pully) Work the rope in slowly and back slowly raising and lowering the stack of weights...never letting the weights touch...

    Rope Pulls elbows out, hand over hand, palms down
    Rope Pulls elbows touching, palms facing each other
    Rope Pulls elbows out, hand over hand, palms up

    5 Sets x 5 Reps

    Plate Pinch (Use Min 3 plates for the width)


    Plate Toss
    DB Toss (Silver DB's standing on end)

    ^^^Super Set these two running 4 sets 15 reps each hand^^^

    Turn the DB on its side ( I use the stainless steel rounded ones, then with one hand, toss it up on its end and attempt to catch it with the other hand.

    Plate toss - Pinch the top of the plate and toss it in the air catching it with your opposite hand.

    Rope Pull-Ups or Towel Pull-ups

    3 Sets 10 Reps


    2 Hand DB Preacher Hammer Curls.
    The Db is turned on its side so you can hold the OUTSIDE of the weights. This only works with HEX DB's or Rbber DB's as the steel plated ones don't allow your hands to grab around them. Either have your hands on the outside of the HEX DB's or pinch the outside plates of the Rubber DB. The rubber ones I find are a lot better for this exercise because you really have to pinch the weight to complete the rep.

    I use the rubber ones becasue it concentrates on your fingers more. Simply do a 2-hand Preacher Curl, but only holding the outside of the weight, your forced to apply pressure sideways to hold the weight in which attacks the upper part of your wrist, at the top of the rep, the weight is attacking your thumb and at the bottom of the rep, the weight is attacking your fingers...

    4 Sets 8 Reps
    __________________________________________________ _______________________________

    Every so often I will throw in Captain of Crush Grippers, maybe once every 10 days..

    Slow and controled Reps...you are not trying to get 100 reps from any grippers...this will result in an injury...
    __________________________________________________ __________________________

    You can effectively hit the forearms by training hands and wrist also. I find that is the only way to strengthen and grow the entire forearm...Ensure to only train hand and wrist once every 4 days to begin with until you can handle it or you will find yourself overtraining...I directly and indirectly train my forearms everyday...Using ropes is an ideal way of tackling all of these areas with great results especially your grip strength

    MY NEW FAVORITE FOREARM EXERCISE

    Standing Rolling Thunder Wrist Curls

    Grab a rolling thunder,

    Hook it to a cable machine with the stack at the top...pull the rolling thunder down into your chest and hold your elbow steady with your opposite hand...now proceed with your wrist curls

    Another Exercise you can add to your routine to mix things up is;

    Close Grip Tennis Ball Pull-ups.
    Simply place a tennis ball in each hand, place them in your palms and also on the bar you are completeing the pull-ups. Your weight will dent the ball enough to keep contact with the ball, simply cup your hand around the ball and complete your pullups...This is awesome for your wrists.

    Some grip training you can do at home

    1. Fill a bucket full of sand...put 1 hand in and turn the sand in a clockwise fasion, then reverse....

    2. Take two towels in the bathtub and soak them...then wring them both out at the same time working from top to bottom.

    3. Steak Knife Push-ups...place two chairs in front of you which of rounded legs (not squared) get into the push up position with the two chairs side by side in front of you....(so you can grab the two outter legs with your hands)...place your hands on the outer legs roughly 6" up from the ground....begin your push-ups...(THESE ARE EXTREMEMLY HARD)



    4. Flat board chin-ups, If you have stairs in your house, hang off the floor the is above the stairwell opeing with your fingers straight out for pullups

    5. Hang a rope from a tree in your back yard, if no trees, use your patio...try climbing rope for sets...

    6. By a small peice of a plank used on staging at the hardware store...start using a screwdriver and some screws and turn the screws in to the board and out for sets....

    7. Sledgehammer lever lifts...using a sledge, place your arm on your leg and rotate the head of the hammer from one side to the other SLOWLY for each hand...the farther out the head, the more tension on your hand and wrist..I stress the word SLOWLY


    ^^^These should work fine without any equipment.^^^

    Farmers Walk also have a direct impact on size and strength of the hands and forearms. The equipment is not always readily available. I definately suggest using Fat GripZ. I use them for all exercises.




    RECOVERY & REST
    One thing that is extremely important is recovery and rest. An exercise which I believe is very important whan you start direct forearm and wrist work is EXTENSORS.



    These help build the tendons and tissues around the elbow which take a direct impact from this type of training.

    SUPPLEMENTS
    Supplements can really help with injury prevention and also recovery. Some I highly recommend

    Over-All Joint Health
    1. Glucosamine
    2. Fish Oil
    3. Almonds (Not a supplement but I find helps with joints)

    Joint Recovery
    1. USPLabs Super Cissus Rx
    2. Animal FLEX
    USPlabs Sponsored Athlete
    http://usplabsdirect.com/

    In order to win...you must first learn how to lose...

    C.O.C. Grippers #1 - CLOSED
    C.O.C. Grippers #2 - CLOSED

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    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showthread.php?t=110517591
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  18. #18
    Registered User TigerStealth's Avatar
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    definitely start using straps. I like Versa Grip Pro the best -- they are more expensive but last forever and give a great grip. you could also buy $5 straps from sports authority that basically do teh same thing though
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    Registered User InExileVt's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Swanky View Post
    Thanks. Interesting. I'll work on my grip rather than resort to straps (just as you wished you had).
    Just don't forget to do some grip work. Straps have their place. Without using straps you could limit your progress on DLs. I just let my grip work slip
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  20. #20
    Registered User drvelociraptor's Avatar
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    A 200 lb man doesn't need straps at 190 lb deadlift. I am not strong and just managed a 400 lbs deadlift with no straps and I'm a old fat man who has been lifting about six months.

    You don't need grip trainers, or glucosamine, or 15 different exercises to work your forearms since you are at the very novice end of the spectrum. That **** is for guys who have been training for years and looking for any possible way to get gains.

    You need some chalk and to deadlift more. Once you get to like a 300 lb work-set you can move to one arm suppinated, but still warm-up with dual overhand grip, seriously that's all you need to do. Do a 1 X 5 of deadlifts once weekly, add 10 lbs a week, if your grip fails use a one arm suppinated grip only on your work sets. In a year you will be dual over-handing your warm-up of 300+ lbs.
    Last edited by drvelociraptor; 12-28-2011 at 05:27 PM.
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  21. #21
    CEO www.b-built.net sixthsense's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Swanky View Post
    Hey guys,

    I have a problem: I've just upped the weight on deadlifts to 190 lbs. My back can handle this weight, but my arms and hands can't. I've tried wearing gloves yet my grip still fails me. In fact, I can't complete all 8 reps solely because my hands lose grip and the barbell falls. It's really a pain because my back CAN handle the weight, but my grip is failing me. What can I do to alleviate this problem?

    Thanks, everyone :-)
    Wrist straps are what you need. You will be able to handle heavier weights on all pulling movments!
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  22. #22
    Registered User Protege385's Avatar
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    Dont use straps. Use chalk and work on grip strength.
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  23. #23
    CEO www.b-built.net sixthsense's Avatar
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    Use straps if you main goal is building more muscle. If you want to be a powerlifter than use chalk.
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  24. #24
    Registered User Keenl3ody's Avatar
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    I've never used chalk but I've always had grip issues because my deadlift has been going up fast. at the end of my back day I just do some farmers walks and it has helped a lot

    idk who had it but I saw a signature the other day that said "if you're having grip issues on deadlifts then do rack pulls with 15% more weight and itll develop into a rack pull grip issue"
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  25. #25
    Registered User Proposturalized's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KoHuskie View Post
    Long solution: Get a stronger grip.
    Short solution: Get straps or even better, Versa Gripps. Just got a pair myself. Was able to deadlift 415 with switch grip only, and with the Versa's I can pull 415 with a double overhand. A litte on the expensive side but worth it so far in my opinion!
    Just ordered a pair of these yesterday. My grip always gives out on shrugs before my traps do so I look forward to them assisting with this lift, and on my heavy DL sets.

    Never used straps before, so hopefully I'll like them
    "Maybe strong is just what you have left when you've used up all your weak."
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  26. #26
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    Originally Posted by sixthsense View Post
    Use straps if you main goal is building more muscle. If you want to be a powerlifter than use chalk.
    No point in having a lot of muscle if you have a limp dick handshake.
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    Originally Posted by DCSpartan View Post
    No point in having a lot of muscle if you have a limp dick handshake.
    This post is definitely relevant to the thread.
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  28. #28
    Registered User drvelociraptor's Avatar
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    I can't believe the amount of people recommending straps for a 200 lb guy struggling on a 190 lb deadlift. Am I reading this right? Seriously go look at the endless videos of hot 120 lb women repping 225 sans straps.

    The guy needs a little chalk and to deadlift more.
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  29. #29
    back with half the reps im2manly's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by drvelociraptor View Post
    I can't believe the amount of people recommending straps for a 200 lb guy struggling on a 190 lb deadlift. Am I reading this right? Seriously go look at the endless videos of hot 120 lb women repping 225 sans straps.

    The guy needs a little chalk and to deadlift more.
    While I agree that chalk is way better than straps, if he can't get chalk for w/e BS reason then he should use straps. If he is that worried about grip strength than he can incorporate supplemental grip work + still use straps. Babyslayer deadlifts 700lbs plus and uses straps...do you really think he has a poor grip?
    Last edited by im2manly; 12-29-2011 at 07:43 AM.
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  30. #30
    Registered User drvelociraptor's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by im2manly View Post
    While I agree that chalk is way better than straps, if he can't get chalk for w/e BS reason then he should use straps. If he is that worried about grip strength than he can incorporate supplemental grip work + still use straps. Babyslater deadlifts 700lbs plus and uses straps...do you really think he has a poor grip?
    No grown man, especially a 200 lb man should need straps at 190 lb deadlift. Simply doing deadlifts will resolve his issue up until at least 400 lbs. If after that and you hit the intermediate phase then maybe your grip failing could require straps. At his level no way he needs straps, he just needs to deadlift more. I have yet to see one person male or female who deadlifts once a week starting low and adding 5-10 lbs a week stall out and have their grip fail at 190 lbs.
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