Functional Grip Strength Training

A long time ago, I decided that my grip would never be the weak link in any lift.  If I cannot hold on to the weight, then I believe I should not be picking it up.  So I threw away the lifting straps and started training my grip specifically. 

Here's just a few of the simpler grip tips & exercises that I incorporate into my own training routine on a regular basis. 

Tip: Most importantly, you need to understand that there's a significant difference between exercises that strengthen wrist flexion and those that train the hand to close. Wrist flexion exercises will NOT help to increase your ability to hold on to the bar or any other object.

Ditch the Straps and Squeeze the Bar

Yep, the first step is that easy. Get rid of your lifting straps and start deadlifting, shrugging, and rowing with a double-overhand grip (not hook grip) exclusively.  And don't forget to wrap that thumb around the bar!  Use that grip while ramping up to your working weights for the day and keep using it until you absolutely cannot perform the set with it. Then alternate the grip and finish your working sets.

Use Fat Bars Everywhere

There are tons of fat bars and grip implements out there. Like these from Rogue. One of the most convenient ones are Fat Gripz. I personally love them. 

Put them on barbells and dumbells when rowing, curling, pressing, snatching, carrying, and for any other exercise you can think of. Even the pullup bar.

Because you won't be able to completely close your hand, they will train your fingers and thumb to work together to hold on to the bar.

Carry and Hold Odd Objects

Some of the simplest grip exercises are farmer carries and holds with different objects. Kettlebells, Dumbells, Hex Holds, and Farmer Bars are all fair game. 

Carry them for distance or hold them for time. Every time you do a set, try to beat your last attempt. 


Put simply, your grip should never be the weakest link. It's easy to train and can be incorporated into any training regiment.