Thursday, July 19, 2007

A direct line of power- Grip Strength

You have of course heard the phrase 'a chain is only as strong as it's weakest link'. That same logic applies to your strength training. Regarding the upper body, what is one common factor in all exercises? Your grip. You must hold the dumbbell, barbell, or kettlebell. Who do you know who truly trains their grip strength? I don't know as many as I should. we train what we think of as the 'prime movers' such as the biceps, triceps, etc., but we do not seriously train what needs to be the strongest link in that chain. If you are doing barbell forearm curls and thinking that trains your grip, you are deluding yourself.
"Okay smart guy, so what should I do to train my grip?"
Well I ain't smart and I ain't a guy, but I'll give you an idea. Take it back to school. Don't overthink it. Just doing pull ups is going to strengthen your grip and is a good way to develop a solid base. It used to be standard practice for strong men to be able to do a good amount of pull ups, twenty or more. Something else I have taken to doing is using a thick rope to pull a kettlebell or weighted sled hand over hand toward myself. This works your grip, forearms, and the rest of your arms as well as your back. I will normally incorporate it into one of my training circuits with some swings or sprints.
Many of you who may get into heavy deadlifting will find your grip to be a rather sinister hobgoblin that can halt your progress as surely as any injury. You cannot 'quick fix' grip weakness, so you will have to roll your training back until your grip catches up with your back and legs. Some people use lifting straps, and I see nothing wrong with this so long as their use is justified. Too often I have seen people using these with ridiculously light weight. they use them because they are fashionable, and they short circuit their grip strength development.

No comments:

Post a Comment