T Nation

Grip And Forearms


I've been considerably noticing that my grip and forearms are the weakest links in various exercises like pullups, chins, deads, shrugs etc.

So far I'm mainly doing wrist rolls to improve my forearm strength, any tips what else I could do to improve grip strength and forearm strength?

Also do gloves play any role in having less or more grip?


Gloves + less grip use chalk.

One thing you may consider is not overtraining them if you are taking your grip to failure on your regualr w/o before the other body parts then they need time to recover even more so than say yuo back from various pulls.

Other than that farmers walk and holding plates etc can be great.

Hope that helps,


Plate pinching and hex dumbell holds...


Thick bar DB or barbell holds have dramatically increased my grip strength.

If you don't have a thick bar, you can wrap a neck pad or towel around a barbell to increase the circumference of the bar.

Load up the bar and hold it. I personally like to hold for a maximum of 30 seconds. Increase the weight when you reach your time limit.

I would perform this exercise at the end of your workout or on off days, to ensure you're not fatiguing the forearms prior to other exercises.


Heavy bar holds and hanging from a pull-up bar are great for building endurance. You could get some "Captains of Crush" grippers from IronMind.com. I also have a dumbell that has a 5lb plate on only one side that I use for wrist rotations and "Hatchet Chops".

In addition, I find that doing as much deadlifting and shrugs as possible before you resort to wrist straps will really build your forearms and grip strength. Like most people though, the bar will slip out of my hands well before I've worked the target muscles well enough so I do use straps on my last sets.


Oh yes I remember CT mentioning those. Will have to figure out at which level to start though, the No.1 seems a bit over the top, maybe Trainer.


me too:

farmers walks
plate pinches
sandbag work
hangs for time
holds for time
thickbar work

check out Waterbury's article here:



I find it great to carry a tennis ball and just squeeze the shit out of it all day long. My strength has increased although my fingers seem to ache a bit.


hmm thanks for the suggestion, never thought about that.


Wear training wraps on your hands.
When you put them on, emphasise the wrapping around the parts of your thumb, palms and fingers which contact the bar when your gripping something. This effectively increases the bar diameter of everything you lift that session and will really up the work-rate of your forearms.
When you get used to it, just put two wraps on each hand and then three. If you can handle three wraps on each hand then buy a CoC #3 - you are now a man :slightly_smiling:


All the things mentioned previously will help. Ironmind has a lot of grip training devices. Which exercies/devices are better for you depends on your goals. Do you want a stronger grip to perform the exercises you mentioned or do you want as strong a grip as possible?

To do the latter, start rock climbing (bouldering specifically) and purchase some equipment from Ironmind so you can keep doing different exercises and avoid boredom. Also make sure you work your wrist and finger extensors to help prevent any muscle imbalances and injuries.


I have not read the entire thread so if the following has been stated forgive me:

  1. Drop the gloves-the only help the company who sells them.

  2. I have not seen anything improve your "lifting" grip more than bar hangs from a Chin-up bar. And also holding a barbell (in the deadlift position) for time.

  3. If you are looking to specialize your grip work Iron Mind offers grippers of various strengths. Although I still think bar hangs/holds are superior relative to "lifting" grip.

  4. Don't think that training forearms, in the traditional sense will improve your grip. It may make your forearms large, but will do very little for grip strength.

  5. If you do a great amount of grip work of any sort make sure that you also work the grip in the opposite direction to avoid joint problems. Call it "reverse grip" work. One tool to do this with is called "the web." You place your fingers in a circular band start with fingers in (almost closed fist) and spread them out. You can also do this with a very thick (or several) rubber bands.

Good Luck,