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Grip Strength Product Review


My grip strength is starting to fail on my deadlift so I'm back to grip strength training. Here are my opinions on products I use/have used:

  1. Handmaster plus - Rubbish. The balls are too soft and small, the thumb cannot be engaged in the squeeze, the band strength/tension is equal for all fingers and thumb, and fingers/thumb cannot be isolated for the eccentric phase.

  2. Thera-putty - Excellent. Six strength grades available. You can choose how much to use based on what size ball you need. Squeezing of the putty allows much better muscle activation than squeezing a foam ball.

How to isolate fingers/thumb:

Poke a hole in the middle to make a donut. Insert the finger you want to isolate and your thumb. Place thumb against the palm of your other hand to prevent thumb activation. Expand opening with the isolated finger. To isolate the thumb do the place finger against palm of other hand to prevent finger activation.

  1. Grippers. The hard handles should theoretically increase phanagial/metacarpal bone density.

  2. Hanging from a towel/doing pull ups. All good, keeps the neighbours guessing but no eccentric phase.


None of that is going to do diddly squat for your deadlift grip.

Double-overhand rack lockouts with a timed hold work. Go as heavy as you can for a ten second hold.

One-handed DL's work. Especially with varied handle diameters. Again, as heavy as you can, but no pause necessary.

Get some real grippers. But then, past a certain level, they don't carry over to supportive strength much.


Thanks for the advice. Is this because supportive strength involves slow twitch muscle training and crush grip involves fast twitch?

BTW - I have been training grip strength for a number of reasons including injury rahab. I've just started to find my grip failing in my left hand due to former injury. I just went back to the grip strength training I'd been doing previously. Looks like I'm not doing the right type for keeping hold of a barbell.

Also, I've read that I should have the barbell hanging in my fingers as opposed to my fingers wrapped around the barbell and the barbell in my palm: 'claw not paw'. Is this right? Holding the barbell like that causes my grip to fail in my left hand.


Get some chalk. You won't have to worry about this ever again.


I've never had any trouble with grip strength, nor am I putting up much weight at all, so take my advice with a major grain of salt. I like to go double overhand as long as I can in my deadlift ramp up. I do shrugs double overhand, too.


Fatgripz might be worth a look as well.


I found that doing regular gripping the day before deadlifts with a run of the mill grip strength thingy helps my grip in deadlifts. Like it primes my hands to be ready for the effort the next day. I'm not sure how effective others would find this, my muscles seem to get lazy pretty quickly, so warming this up like this helps me quite a bit.


It may have something to do with that, I'm not sure. A lot of grip guys will tell you (me included) that after a certain point (right around a CoC #3), improving other aspects of your grip will improve your gripper strength, but not the other way around. May have something to do with your body's built-in injury prevention mechanisms.

Some people grip better with a closed fist. If you have the strength to hold it with a claw grip, definitely use it for DL's. Decreases your range of motion by about an inch.


From Thibs' random thought of the day thread:

There are some guys on this site who can deadlift in the 500s easily but can't close the CoC2 gripper. Crushing grip and supportive grip are different things.

Kroc rows without straps are good for grip too. Hands turn into strong claws.



This was a great article.


Looks like another 'I've done your research for you thread'. Thanks guys.


i found the best wsay to improve my grip is just doing movements that require you to grip heavy weights. I built mine with deadlift, RDL's (these are really challenging when you are doing higher reps), pull-up variations, One Arm Dumbbell rows, and some farmer's walks.

I haven't done any specific grip training and still it is strong enough where i never have to wrry about it being a limiting factor in any lifts. You want to teach your body to learn how to hold onto heavy weights while completing challenging movements. Just flexing the muscles involved with grip I don't think has the same strength carryover to compound lifts. You might get bigger flexors and extensors but not a bigger deadlift etc. IMO