It’s important to do exercises to increase grip strength, as several compound workouts require the same. Ideally, you should keep a few such exercises at the end of your arm workout.
Grip strength can improve your performance during various compound movements, but how? Sometimes, the legs and back may be able to support an exercise with a certain weight. However, if your grip doesn’t support the exercise, you won’t be able to work through with as many reps as you could have.
So, a stronger grip can enable you to work through a few extra reps in heavy compound movements. Not only is that helpful for compound exercises, but you can use grip strength to become better in isolation exercises as well.
Exercises to Increase Grip Strength
You can’t exercise to increase grip strength the way you can to improve your chest, back, or any other muscle group.
When you’re working on your grip strength, you end up working on other muscle groups too. The following are five exercises you can use to increase grip strength:
1) Farmer’s Carry
To do this exercise, hold one dumbbell or kettlebell in each hand. Walk the length of the gym or walk at least 15 steps before returning to the starting point.
The farmer’s carry allows you to improve grip strength and improve the calves. In fact, it's a recommended exercise for the calves to add variation.
2) Plate Hold
To do a plate hold, hold a weight plate in each hand. You will not hold the plate from the middle using the gap for barbells but at the top with your finger tips.
To ensure proper pressure, hold the plates for as long as possible. However, it’s better to not do it for too long if your forearms get too strained. Nevertheless, it's a good point to note that the forearms can benefit massively from this exercise.
3) Reverse Curl
To do this exercise, hold a dumbbell in each hand or a barbell with both hands. When you place the barbell dumbbells in front of you, your palms should be facing you.
Using this grip, curl the weight towards yourself using your biceps. This exercise is primarily for the biceps, but it helps increase grip strength too, as it’s not the usual supinated grip,
You can find a guide for doing reverse curls here.
4) Deadlift with Pause
To do a deadlift with pause is essentially doing a deadlift but pausing at the top of the motion to keep some pressure on your grip. The lift is about improving lower body strength, but at the top of the motion, it can have an immense impact on your grip, as the palms hold the entire weight.
Furthermore, when you’re doing deadlifts, the first part of the lift will put pressure on your grip. So, it's essential to hold the grip properly before lifting. Ideally, you should begin using straps or gloves to avoid any cuts or bruises on your palms.
5) Rack Pull
Rack pulls are massively effective for the back. If you’re trying to do a deadlift motion for your back, you should do rack pulls, as it takes pressure off the glutes and legs and focuses primarily on the back.
As rack pulls and deadlifts use the same motion, you will be able to increase grip strength with the same underlying principles during this exercise.
It’s not easy to increase grip strength, and it definitely does not happen overnight. Just like any other muscle group, grip strength is a part of your wrists. The more exercises you incorporate where you keep your wrists steady and hold the weight, the better it is for your grip.
Moreover, it’s also important to warm up the wrists before any exercise by using wrist rotations and wrist holds. That helps loosen the joints and enables better blood circulation and muscle activation.