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Grip Strength Training for Deadlift


When I first started deadlifting, I was making steady progress. At this point, my deadlift isn't very high but my forearms are already starting to hold me back.

When I deadlift weights upwards of 300 lbs, my forearms start giving away after 5-6 reps, and prevent me from pulling as many reps as I know I can. I have unbelievably weak forearms so my question is, how do you guys train for forearm strength? How do you incorporate this into your regular workout routine (I'm following a 4 day 5/3/1 split right now)? Any advice would be much appreciated.


try doing high rep rows without straps. do you use chalk? chalk might help.


No strap dimmel deads. Kroc rows (basically a cheat db row done with relatively high weight and many reps). Picking up two dimes with your fingers in a pinch grip. No strap shrugs. Chin ups (heavy and light). Dead hangs with or w/out weight. There's more, but that's what I can think of off-hand.


Yeah I tried chalk today actually, and it made a reasonable difference


Sweet, that's a great list thanks. I just threw in DB rows, chin-ups and no strap shrugs into my 5/3/1 routine so that should help. Appreciate it!


I like to do heavy db and bb holds for time, and especially like farmer's walks for time or distance. Here's to a dominant grip, keep up the good work!


How often do you guys train forearms?


I don't train forearms on their own, i dont have a separate "forearm" day. Generally every workout I do involves some type of holding onto heavy weight, and if I need to up my forearm strength, I'll throw something at the end, farmers walk, holds, rack deads, kroc rows, etc. Just my own .02


Never directly. But there are plenty who have to do some more specific work for grip.


x5 kroc rows


What grip are you using?


Fat grips. Use them for all lifts your grip come up to par fast. Wouldn't even have to do any specialized grip training is what I would imagine.


i can use double overhand with no chalk up to 365 and got 405 with mixed with no chalk.

kroc rows are good, and i do plate pinches too. i got some gripforce a little bit ago, and i think they've been helping out as well.

i think in addition to deadlifting and heavy rows, you could probably finish off one session per week with some dedicated grip work and make some gains.

if you're stronger than i am, feel free to shoot holes in my theory.


I usually use a mixed grip. Should I start using the overhand grip to improve my grip strength, or does it not make a difference either way? I started using the mixed grip because the bar starts to slip out of my hands when I'm going for a max, and it's really annoying.

I've added the heavy shrugs, kroc rows and DB holds to my routine. I may also add plate pinches. Hopefully over time it'll make a difference and my forearms won't be an even bigger problem when I start pulling decent numbers.


thibideau suggests using overhand until you can't, and then mixed for your max attempts.

you could also try to learn a hook grip-- i'm not man enough to give it a serious try, nor am i strong enough to need to yet


Try addind heavy mixed grip shrugs (in a rack if poss) worked for me, especially when I was shrugging (for reps) more than I could DL:- no more grip probs.


lots and lots of deadlifts, heavy pulling like pullups and db rows as well as bicep work, doing heavy ass curls and shit liek that really fries my forearms and ive never had problems on dl's. Also i pull 475 for reference.


How big are your hands? If you have big hands, grip should almost never be a factor if you use mixed grip. When I first pulled 500 with a mixed grip (and chalk), I would struggle to hold onto 315 double-overhand and was pretty terrible at all the grip-strength stuff but had no problem holding onto 500+ with a mixed grip.

Hook grip seems to work well for people with smaller hands, but also seems to take a long time to get comfortable with.


I'm also doing 5/3/1, and I just do farmers walks, grippers, static holds, and suit case carries 2-3 times a week after my workouts. On deadlift day I also do shrugs 3 x 10 with challenging weights.

I think if you started doing things like Farmer's walks and static holds after your workouts then you'll eventually see some improvement in your grip strength. There's an article here on T-Nation about the various carries you can do (I think it's called "Boy you gotta carry that weight")... just start doing some of those carries 2-3 times a week!


Im new, 3 months in, and I run into the same problem. I changed to mixed grip, but it doesnt seem to matter which arm I switch to the undergrip, my back gets put out on that side. I end up with 3 trips to the chiropractor feeling like theres a knife stabbing the back of my lung. I try and focus on a flat back but I gotta be doing something pretty wrong. pulling 300, 4 x 6.