In the world of weightlifting, the deadlift is king. It's one of the most iconic moves for bodybuilders of all divisions, and it's a real crowd-pleaser when you're competing. The trick is being able to hold your deadlift in a strong and steady grip. Good grip strength is crucial! Here are just a few tips for maximizing your holding power, improving your grip strength, and wowing the audience every single time.
Hold Your Lifts Longer
This is one of the easiest ways to improve your grip strength. At the end of each rep, hold your barbell for an extra 5 - 10 seconds while fully extended. It'll target all of the necessary muscles in your hands, arms, and shoulders while also helping you build greater endurance throughout your body.
Change Your Grip Style
Most weightlifters start with a double overhand grip. It's a natural stance, and there's nothing wrong with continuing to use it if it's working for you. If you're having problems with your grip strength, however, you might benefit from experimenting with a mixed grip or hook grip. These grip styles might feel more comfortable to you and allow you greater control over the barbell.
Strengthen Your Forearms
Your hands aren't the only things involved in a grip. Whenever you squeeze something, you're engaging the muscles in your forearms just as much, so to increase your forearm strength is to increase your grip strength by default. Consider incorporating forearm-centric exercises into your fitness routine, including forearm curls, finger curls, hammer curls, and bicep curls. You can also invest in some squeeze tools to mimic the motion of a deadlift.
Perform Grip Exercises
Grip exercises come in many varieties, including overhand lifts, static holds, and variations of pull-ups and chin-ups. Even just hanging from a static bar can help you build better grip strength. The most important thing is to make sure that you're using good technique while you lift, squeeze, hang, or hold. Increasing your stamina is only half of the battle: The other half is getting comfortable and familiar with proper forms.
Put Away the Lifting Straps
Lifting straps can be valuable tools for everything from pull-ups to deadlifts. If you're ready to have your own training montage like the one in "Rocky IV" on DIRECTV STREAM, however, you'll want to put them aside for a while. They limit the amount of power, mobility, and fine motor control needed by your hands to complete a lift, and these things are all critical for good grip strength.
Take Care of Your Hands
Your body is a tool that needs to be kept at optimal levels of performance. This means hydrating, taking rest days, and regularly removing or softening the calluses on your hands. Don't let people scoff at your skincare routine. A painful callus can mean the difference between hitting all your reps and having to stop early for the day.
Ensure Proper Form
This goes back to the idea that good form is everything. It isn't just applicable to grip strength: It's a key component in weightlifting in general, and it can "trickle down" to everything from your breathing to your bracing. For example, if you aren't gripping the barbell evenly and in alignment with your shoulders, your weight is going to be oddly distributed because your form is out of balance. This isn't a stance that will lead to powerful grips.
How to Improve Your Grip Strength
Nothing can cripple a deadlift like a weak grip that doesn't allow you to raise or hold a bar. To achieve a deadlift like the pros, start with improving your grip strength. The rest will follow.