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giantfan43
02-07-2003, 07:33 AM
So, what does everyone do to improve their grip ? I'm finding that on my really heavy deadlifts and shrugs, my grip is starting to give before the rest of me .. I do forearm work once a week .. usually reverse curls and forearm curls, sometimes hammer curls .. but I was wondering if anyone had any other suggestions ...

Axe
02-07-2003, 07:40 AM
Yep...I have one that works great!! I used to race motocross and we stregthened our grip by sitting on a bench and resting our forearms on our quads, palms up. Hold a barbell in your hands with a full grip and slowly open your hands, letting the barbell roll down to the ends of your fingers. Roll the barbell back up again and repeat...

This is a KILLER excersize and you will receive a forearm pump that you won't believe....awesome to improve your grip! :)

Eye2_Man
02-07-2003, 07:48 AM
Friend is a StrongMan. He has two 115 pound dumbells. He paces in his backyard holding both. He's in training to rip phone books apart.

Brother Phil
02-07-2003, 11:38 AM
Giantfan,
Have you ever considered using wrist straps? I use them for my heavy back exercises because I also find that my grip gives out before my back does. I used to avoid them because I thought I was cheating myself, but since I started using the wraps on my heavier sets, I can focus my concentration on my back, which has greatly helped in back development.

phikappa
02-07-2003, 02:33 PM
I agree with Brother Phil, get some wrist straps. Working your forearms once a week is plenty. When you're working traps or back, the last thing you need is your grip giving out. And, most people can lift more than their grip is capable of holding. Get some straps and you'll get a much better back/trap workout. Good luck!

Charger
02-07-2003, 05:16 PM
I absolutly disagree with Brother Phil. I used straps for years and still do some times(last heavy lift mostly) Since I quit using them for the most part my grip has improved big time. I used to use them for most pulling movements and my grip sucked, why wouldn't it. You are letting the strap do the work. Along with my grip improving my forearms have grown.

phikappa
02-07-2003, 05:20 PM
Charger,
I have no doubt that your grip improved, but do you work your back to improve your grip or do you work your back to improve your back? I say give your grip a break on the back exercises (so that you're focusing on your back) and work your grip separately.

Charger
02-07-2003, 06:14 PM
philappa, can I ask you this? When working back do you take every set to failure? If not, which i don't, try not using straps except your last set which you do take to failure, see how your forearms feel after. I agree, when working back I hate having my grip fail before I reach failure on my back movement, but now that I use straps less I ALMOST!! don't need them at all.
I now can do shrugs using 315 x 10 without straps when doing traps.

Macattack
02-07-2003, 06:36 PM
I work with my hands all day and have slight case of corpal tunnel and have a terrible grip at the end of the day, i use straps now, and dont do any forearm excercises trying to save what i have even though the straps can cut into the wrist with the real heavystuff like when doing deads, i also found not using gloves gives me a better grip and yet to get some chalk which i need to do soon.....

TrishB
02-07-2003, 07:02 PM
Originally posted by Axe
Yep...I have one that works great!! I used to race motocross and we stregthened our grip by sitting on a bench and resting our forearms on our quads, palms up. Hold a barbell in your hands with a full grip and slowly open your hands, letting the barbell roll down to the ends of your fingers. Roll the barbell back up again and repeat...

This is a KILLER excersize and you will receive a forearm pump that you won't believe....awesome to improve your grip! :)

After I had reconstructive surgery done on my wrist, I could not even hold a pen. And the docs said I might not get too much better. But after doing that exercise you mention with PT for a year...I got amazing results. It was the only thing that helped me.

Phatman1179
02-07-2003, 07:18 PM
Funny how this works out but the new edition of Testosterone is up and they have an artical on...You guessed it improving the Grip. Check it out here :

www.t-mag.com

MiloMan
02-07-2003, 07:50 PM
Once a week, I sit on a short stool and pick up a really heavy dumbbell in each hand, then hold them (arms hanging at my sides) until one hand starts to give out, then drop them both (about 6 inches to the rubber mat). I wait a few minutes, then do it again. Sort of a Farmers Walk, without the "walk" part.

JEFF7322
02-08-2003, 12:02 PM
I compete in armwrestling so one of my specialties is grip training!
I do chin bar hangs which is hanging from the bar like in the lats stretch for max time, deadlift holds with bar or dumbbells (start at thigh level, lift and hold for time, CAPTAINS OF CRUSH grippers, Farmers Walk with dumbbells, Plate curls (pinch grip the side of a plate so it's flat in your palm, palm up and curl it squeezing with fingers to control the weight) Cable Holds with bottom cables in cable crossovers. Stand in middle of the machine and hold each handle with arms outstretched naturally (like the start of cable crossovers rep for max time)
Pinch Grip Holds (pinch grip the side of a plate, deadlift them up like in shrugs and squeeze with fingers holding them for max time.)
no straps!

If anyone needs a translation of any of this let me know. :-)
-JEFF

Charger
02-08-2003, 12:36 PM
Great ideas, thanks for sharing, I would have never thought of pinching plates, goon one. I use a farmers walk from time to time. I always get some looks.

JEFF7322
02-08-2003, 04:20 PM
Raise the hammer flexing your wrist so your thumb moves toward the forearm (radial)

Raise the hammer flexing your wrist so your pinky moves toward the forearm (reverse motion ulnar)

Take the hammer and turn it from palm up to palm down in one motion smoothly. (pronation - supination and back)

As you get stronger grip farther down the hammer handle.
5 x 25 - 100 each arm.
-JEFF

phikappa
02-08-2003, 04:40 PM
Originally posted by Charger
philappa, can I ask you this? When working back do you take every set to failure? If not, which i don't, try not using straps except your last set which you do take to failure, see how your forearms feel after. I agree, when working back I hate having my grip fail before I reach failure on my back movement, but now that I use straps less I ALMOST!! don't need them at all.
I now can do shrugs using 315 x 10 without straps when doing traps.

I take every set to failure, except for two warm-ups (and I don't use straps on warm-ups). Since I do my sets pretty slow (3-4 seconds each direction) I think my grip would fail even if I was Popeye! Back when I was powerlifting, I couldn't use straps very often ('cuz they don't let you use them in competition), but I could always deadlift more with them. Do I think that people can rely too much on straps? Yep. But as I said earlier, as long as you work them separately, you'll be fine.

Anyway, when I do work forearms I do exactly what Axe does. I highly recommend it.

MiloMan
02-08-2003, 07:21 PM
Originally posted by Charger
I use a farmers walk from time to time. I always get some looks.
Go grab the skeptic's hand and do "the grip contest".

As your grip overpowers theirs and the bones in their hand start to painfully grate on each other, I bet they'll stop laughing.

JEFF7322
02-08-2003, 08:42 PM
A great book on grip training is MASTERY OF HAND STRENGTH by John Brookfield. I've found some good training stuff in there.
-JEFF

Monte Cristo2
02-09-2003, 02:33 AM
http://www.olympus.net/personal/cablebar/HOOK.htm

The link above show a technique of gripping called the HOOK. It will allow
you to grip more on a weight bar.

You will likely find it uncomfortable at first,
but it works.

To Develop the grip Farmers Walks with
thick handled dumbells are excellent. You can add sections of Air Conditioning
pipe insulation to any dumbell for a good effect.

Holding a heavy weight in a partial deadlift position is good.

"Mastery of Hand Strength" by John Brookfield will give you comprehensive
information on improving the grip and
programs to take grip training as far as you wish.

The goals of Grip Trainees vary with what you wish to achieve with your
grip. I am assuming here that you are
interested in better holding the barbell.

What you are doing now is primarily
forearm training. This is good but in itself won't give you what you want.
You need to be able to support heavy weights and have the grip endurance
to finish your reps. That is why I am
suggesting farmers walks and heavy
supports.

The hook grip by itself may be enough, but some find it too uncomfortable. The Hook grip link shows its use in powerlifting, but it is
most often used in Olympic Lifting where the torque involved in cleans and snatches greatly taxes the grip.

Charger
02-09-2003, 07:21 AM
Thanks for the info Monte, I'll try the hook grip. Seems it would smash your thumb but I'll give it a go.

Brother Phil
02-09-2003, 11:34 AM
Two more cents on wrist wraps.

I say if you can pump the sh#t out of your back without the straps then go for it. When I work out, I don't count sets, and usually don't count reps. I work out on feel and results. If I'm feeling a burn or ache in the muscle and it's getting a good pump, then I know I'm working it. If, for whatever reason, on a particular day I'm not feeling it, then I may add a couple more sets, or a few forced reps, or drop that particular exercise and do something else. It's all about the pump, and the feel in the muscles. On back day, I'm only interested in feeling a pump in the back. The reason I use wraps is when I'm working heavy, or toward the end of a back workout, my forearms would be burning, although I could still grip the weight. The reason I choose to use the wraps is I felt that the concentration and effort I could put toward my back work was diminished without them. Everyone has a reason for using a particular training technique, diet, or workout, and that's because it works. When they find that what they're doing is not producing the desired result, then they need to try another approach, hence, one of the reasons we have this forum.

giantfan43
02-10-2003, 07:01 AM
hi all -

I've been offline for a few days .. just back today .. Thanks for all the good comments .. I do use straps only for my heaviest sets .. find they help a bit but the grip still seems to go .. I'll take in all this advise and see where it takes me .. thanks

Monte Cristo2
02-11-2003, 03:46 AM
There are a couple of devices I saw to aid
the grip. (see links below)

http://www.workoutdelivery.com/grizlfhk.htm

https://www.livefit.com/accessory.php?action=viewItem&itemID=111

These should give even more aid than straps. I have not used these myself, but what I have done is to take some short buckled straps that came with some weighted boots I had and basically
strapped myself to the bar. The only excercises I did like this were heavy shrugs and repetition partial deadlifts.
I did not use them for full range deadlifts because I always could hold
the amount I could pull and I definitely
wanted to be able to drop the weight
if I had to. In shrugs and partial deadlifts I only had to set the weight
on the pins or just relax and let the pins catch the weight if it got that bad.

I suppose you could use these devices for bent rows or chins or lat pulls.

I would not use them for movements
like cleans or anything overhead other than lat pulldowns. You might need to
get out of the way and at that point
you don't want to be strapped to the
bar. Limiting your use of these to exercises like shrugs, partial deadlifts,
bent rows or lat machine work should
limit the hazard. Be careful and get
used to them before you hit a max.

I have not strapped in like the above
for years because I want to work my grip as well.