Building your grip strength and/or forearms can be fairly challenging. You want to add size to your weedy arms or struggle to hold onto the bar whenever you deadlift.
Your small, weak forearms are holding you back from making big gains elsewhere; and the isolation exercises you do several days a week aren’t helping you make any progress with your grip strength.
But it isn’t all doom and gloom, and you aren’t condemned to having a weak grip and puny forearms forever.
You have to walk towards the fire and focus your efforts to ramping up your grip strength seamlessly in your workouts without spending hours on tedious isolation exercises.
Build Up Your Grip Strength Fast
These exercises will bring up this lagging body part fast — and the best part of it all is that they’re fun to complete.
There’s nothing worse than tackling a weakness and for it to be boring at the same time.
Life is too short for that.
1. Farmer’s Walks
Farmer’s walks are one of the best way to bring up your lagging grip strength fast.
You can use dumbbells, a trap bar, jerry cans, or even deadlift walk a straight bar.
This exercise will test your mettle.
Starting off small, walk short distances with a moderate weight — say, 50-60% of your max deadlift in total.
Over time you can lengthen the distance for each walk, increase the weight, or total number of sets to make the exercise progressively more challenging.
I prefer to do these as a finisher as they can be quite taxing.
Farmer’s Walks will set your forearms, traps, posterior chain, and core on fire as well as help with fat loss.
They are a fantastic all-round exercise that anyone can do to take their program to the next level.
2. Suitcase Carries
Suitcase carries are another wonderful exercise that are criminally underused.
If you can’t do Farmer’s Walks for whatever reason, these are the second best replacement.
In the past, we have included Suitcase Carries as one of the best exercises to bring up your Adonis Belt and Obliques.
Pick up a weight — dumbbell or barbell — and hold it to your side, maintain as straight and upright as possible. I tend to do this for 15-20 second holds per side.
Over the weeks, increase the weight gradually while maintaining the same intensity.
Like Farmer’s Walks, these are a great finisher at the end of a pulling or deadlift workout.
3. Deadlift Holds
Again, this is another exercise you can incorporate into your workout fairly seamlessly.
If grip is your weakness, and you don’t want to go out of your way to bring up your grip strength, then we recommend to simply hold the barbell at lockout on your final rep of each set for 5-10 seconds before lowering the weight.
This will help ramp up your grip strength fast without having to include extra exercises into your session.
Add a band to increase the total tension that you have to grip at lockout.
For example, say your max deadlift is 500lb and your limiting factor is your grip strength; load 475 with a band that has 50lb of tension at lockout so that your total resistance at lockout is equivalent to 525lb. More often than not, you should be able to hold that bar at the top of the lift.
4. Use Fat Grips
The inclusion of Fat Grips into your training will make your deadlift/pulling/back days far more challenging.
If you’re looking for a quick way to bring up your forearms or grip strength, then consider investing in a pair of fat grips if your gym doesn’t stock them.
You can add these onto most equipment required for the majority of pulling movements — barbells, dumbbells, pulleys, etc.
Your fingers and hands will have to cover a greater surface area, forcing them to grip onto the bar with greater force to prevent them from losing grip to complete each rep.
5. Pulling Movements
Practicing all pulling movements will, over time, help bring your grip strength up to speed.
High volume work with straps, weighted chins, Kroc Rows — all of these will help get you to where you’re looking to be.
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