Grip strength has been linked to life expectancy . The better your strength is, the better quality of an independent life you will lead. Don't believe me? Shake the hands of 10 different people today and you will see that strength through the hands and how healthy the individual looks are pretty well connected. There are many ways to train the grip and in fact many of the natural exercises we practice in Functional Training utilize grabbing, holding and carrying objects. Here are 3 of my favorite exercises to develop the strongest grip possible.
1. Farmers Carry
The undisputed champion to develop incredible strength, burn fat, and build a strong core is the Farmers Carry. Picking heavy shit up and taking it for a walk. Grip Strength is tested by both the the duration of the carry, the weight of the carry and the circumference (grip width) of the object you are carrying. The best way to train the farmer carry is to do all and every variation possible!
-Standard - 2 objects carried over a specific duration
-unilateral- 1 object carried
-uneven- 2 objects carried of uneven weights
-overhead- 1 or 2 objects carried overhead (really good for shoulder stability and core tensile strength)
-Alternating Overhead and waist carry- 2 objects one held overhead and the other at the waist.. Great for CNS development and coordination
The arms and upper back will develop amazing stability through the stability necessary carry heavy objects. Essentially an isometric hold, the hypertrophy attained can be super beneficial across your entire fitness training modalities. Your bottom half, including your glutes and hamstrings are under load the ENTIRE time so benefits of strength are apparent and believe me if you only integrate Framers carries 2 times per week, you will see strength gains across your squat and deadlift in a very short amount of time.
2. Rope Climbs.
I have always said, the Rope Climb is the practical application of Pull Up training. The two are unique and quite differentiated. Pull Ups do require grip strength but the flexors that are required in Rope Climbing associate vertical or horizontal pulling muscle sequences unparalleled. Combining strength with the unique material of the rope and the width of the rope make it a all around amazing exercise that prepares you for anything.
Ways to scale the rope climb;
-unilateral- using one arm you can perform rope rows or seated rope climbs, releasing with a plyometric pull and catching higher and higher on the rope
-legless- true gymnastic rope climbs do not use feet, grip it tight and develop coordination and strength
-pull ups- keep your hands in place on the rope and go from extension to flexion for 5-10 reps and then switch hand positions .
The muscles in your back and shoulders are heavily targeted, both for stability and for pulling strength. Grip strength is developed in more of a dynamic fashion with releases and re gripping of the rope. Core stability is necessary to keep you from swinging off the rope so it is also amazing for developing tensile strength through the core.
Probably the undisputed champion of classic grip strength training, you have the Deadlift. Classically deadlifts are a full body, functional movement. The deadlift combines grip, upper back, core and posterior chain strength that translates to not only greater life expectancy, but also body shape and fat burning benefits. There are countless articles written about deadlifting and how good it is for you so I won't beat it to death but focus on the grip.
Here are key ways to develop Grip strength in the Deadlift ;
-double overhand- grip the bar with both palm facing towards you. The rotation of the bar and your strength to resist it is key in grip strength development.
-mixed grip- alternating palm direction for counter rotation stability and added weight.
-finger tip- use a slightly opened palm or just do a tone of deadlifts without breaking and the grip will slowly begin to open and give your finger strength a real test.
-Sumo style- bring the hands in to each other close for a core stability drill as well as balanced grip strength.
Upping the weight and lowering the duration of time under tension is a great way to bring up overall strength but for many of the other exercises we do in the gym ( toes to bar, olympic lifts etc.) you need grip endurance as well. Lightening the load and going for longer will also help burn fat long after your sets. Who knew gripping something could help you get your six pack?? Well here ya go!
Remember in all Gripping exercises form is always key. Protecting the entire body through proper set up will allow you to get better faster. Use all these iterations of grip strength development weekly to see the best results. Scale the weight and duration as necessary.
Keep pushing hard to be the best possible version of yourself and Ill support you 100% along the way! With Love,
Programming Notes 1/15-1/19
partner Warm Up:
4X Each Partner (approx. 12 Minutes)
P1- 15 Cals on Bike
P2- Banded Good Morning X 10
Banded Squats X 10 (toes Forward)
-Bent Over Row
-Hang Power Clean
-Hang Clean Below Knee
*Spend 5 Minutes Working Up To Workout Weight
*each round will be done for total reps, score is lowest rep score of the 5 rounds.
1 Minute @ each
-Bar Facing Burpee
-Bike For Cals
*Rest 1 Minute Between Rounds
**Consistency is Key**
10 Reverse Lunge To High Knee Pull
10 Squat Therapy
3 Wall Climbs
Squat Flow: Kang Squat, Internal Rotation, Hip Bridge, Ankle Roll Outs, Boot Straps, PNF, Squat W/ T Spine Rotation
6X3 *building across all sets
3 Rounds For Time
21 Dumbbell Snatch 50/35
15 Dumbbell Overhead Lunge
Lat Band Mob
Walking Reverse Lunges
Inchworm W/ Push Ups
Alternating V Ups
(Not For Time)
GHD Sit Ups
Single Arm Ring Row
Overhead Kettlebell Reverse Lunges
27 Thrusters 95/65
4 Rope Climbs
3 Rope Climbs
2 Rope Climbs
1 Rope Climb
*go legless if can
Spend 3-5 Minutes Rolling out calves and upper back
50 Jump Rope
15 Barbell Press
1:00 Hollow Hold
15 Kip Swings on Bar
*spend 5 minutes building to Workout weight for PP
A- :20 Box Jumps + 10 Heavy Kettlebell Swings
B- :20 Toes TO bar + 5 Push Press 155/105
400m Front Rack barbell Carry W/ 155/105
Dynamic ROM of the shoulder.. ensure you address any rotator cuff issues .
Squat+ Tuck Jumps
*Super Set with 5, 1 arm DB Floor Press (each Arm)
4 Rounds For Time
50 Double Unders
30 Wall Ball
15 Pull Ups