T Nation

Non-Strenuous Grip Work?



I have elbow pain, probably because of weak grip.

I really like to use straps and I will continue doing so, helps me with focus on my back and for heavier deadlifts and better progression.

John Rusin article and another one before that I dont remember by who on elbow pain were great.

He says in article you should farmer walk with “x” amount of weight as a measure of sufficient grip strength.

I dont do farmer walks and it would take too much energy from the rest.

He only talks about farmer walks, but would regular barbell holding (no walking around) do the trick for training grip strength (not testing)? Does it have to be with dumbells (handle parallel to the body instead of perpendicular in front with a barbell), there is no DB heavy enough.

Would secondary grip work with accessories (captain crushers) be good or is it too underwhelming?


Farmers walks with farmers handles, there is no substitute really.

How much weight do you need to drop from your deadlift to be able to hold the bar for reps? Do you use a mixed grip at all? And have you used chalk?


I do static holds with bars (axles or barbell). Great grip builder. No walking required. Grippers are great too. Hold them closed for time.


Like pwnisher mentioned, I think heavy static barbell holds are awesome at building grip strength-- good for the traps too.

Also, heavy dumbbell rows (no straps of course) help a ton.

Captians of Crush grippers work well for crushing strength and I use the pipe & rope wrist roller once a week to get a lot of blood in the forearms.


+1 for the wrist roller. You can hit grip and forearms with one easy exercise.


Weighted bar holds work great. I use straps for deadlifts as my grip fails too early. I work up to my deadlifts without straps and add weighted holds in

You can get pretty creative with thick grips or even 1 and 2 finger holds. Hanging grip work works well too. I suggest experimenting with all


Also, make sure to do the opposite as well. Grab a rubber band and open your hand after sessions to keep your hands and elbows healthy. I agree with @T3hPwnisher in the fat bar holds and grippers. Solid work that takes no time to do. I would also recommend the sand or rice bucket for even less impact.


I actually don’t think developing a stronger grip will necessarily help your elbow pain. My grip strength is really really good, one of my strongest points, and I get plenty of elbow pain.

I believe that balance between triceps, biceps, and forearms is essentially for healthy elbows. Stress seems to occur when one muscle or muscle group pulls on the elbow joint harder than the opposite muscles.

I also believe that regular massage/manual therapy on the muscles around the elbow joint can help with pain immensely.

And, finally, I think that grip work should be done with different degrees of closed-handedness. I wouldn’t do all grip work with a barbell, as others have suggested. Pull ups or even hangs on a rafter or board where you have to keep your hand open are awesome. So is rock climbing. So are fat grips. anything with grip variety can help.


Little report here.

So I gave grip training a shot and it made a dramatic difference.

My grip is still extremely weak, but after only 2 mini workout after my workout (one 3 days ago and one today) my elbows feel great.

I was already massaging and stretching a lot.

For the first time in 1-2 years my back workout (today) wasn’t elbow pain management. After only 1 honest grip mini workout. Tried things I could never try before.

Without pain arm training is going to be great too, I am probably going to put 0.1" on my gunz in the next 3 months or something.

It’s kind of a major training realisation. Straps are good but you really shouldn’t let your grip get weak for elbows health.

So do grip training if you use straps.