T Nation

Shrugs and Grip Strength

Does anyone else find that your shrugs are limited by your grip strength? I was doing standing machine shrugs today, and had to stop after each set of 5 reps to get my grip strength back before continuing.

Any ideas on how to fix this so you can do more work without pausing to let your hands recover?

Straps?

Man through the burn?

wrist straps would help but that they should only be used as a short term fix. Your grip strength should really be able to hold up and if it is not doing so, you need to keep pushing until the two parallel each other.

Straps forever, just add in more forearm work in other areas of your workout so that they can get stronger without having to limit other muscle groups.

Oh, I just thought of something. One-arm rows… do you do them?

If not… I would reccomend doing them! And really use the heaviest weight you can hold… nothing has helped my grip as greatly as one-arm rows! Moderate reps;) and it is going to burn like hell in your hands and forearms… but man through it… squeeze your hand like hell and hold on!

Once I could one arm row the 95s for 8 I never had a grip problem again… and I could use 20lb heavier dumbells for DB shrugs…

[quote]slazeagle wrote:
wrist straps would help but that they should only be used as a short term fix. Your grip strength should really be able to hold up and if it is not doing so, you need to keep pushing until the two parallel each other.[/quote]

I don’t care how strong you are, you’re grip will always give out before your traps. IMO one has to use straps to even consider working the traps.

[quote]waylanderxx wrote:
slazeagle wrote:
wrist straps would help but that they should only be used as a short term fix. Your grip strength should really be able to hold up and if it is not doing so, you need to keep pushing until the two parallel each other.

I don’t care how strong you are, you’re grip will always give out before your traps. IMO one has to use straps to even consider working the traps.[/quote]

I will add serious back training to that list. My back thickness/width really started to grow once I started to use straps.

[quote]krazykoukides wrote:
Oh, I just thought of something. One-arm rows… do you do them?

If not… I would reccomend doing them! And really use the heaviest weight you can hold… nothing has helped my grip as greatly as one-arm rows! Moderate reps;) and it is going to burn like hell in your hands and forearms… but man through it… squeeze your hand like hell and hold on!

Once I could one arm row the 95s for 8 I never had a grip problem again… and I could use 20lb heavier dumbells for DB shrugs…
[/quote]

I bet you could use 120s for 8 reps with straps.

[quote]waylanderxx wrote:
slazeagle wrote:
wrist straps would help but that they should only be used as a short term fix. Your grip strength should really be able to hold up and if it is not doing so, you need to keep pushing until the two parallel each other.

I don’t care how strong you are, you’re grip will always give out before your traps. IMO one has to use straps to even consider working the traps.[/quote]

Good advice. And it took me way too long to stop being stubborn and accept this.

Farmers walks–or I should say runs–with 80 or 90 lbs. DBs. I sometimes do these outside running as fast as possible up a 25 degree, or so, grade hill. Two laps up (~30 yards or so) and back down, then rest to keep your heart from exploding; go another single lap, rest; a final lap. Your work capacity, strength endurance, and every muscle in your body will get a workout–and your grip will REALLY get tested. Add really hot weather to this and it’ll make you tough as nails!

Crowbar

[quote]bulldogtor wrote:

I bet you could use 120s for 8 reps with straps.[/quote]

Perhaps… but I think alot of people use straps who shouldn’t. If somebody is struggling to hold on to the 40s to shrug them… somehow I just don’t think they should be using straps to reach those HUGE 60s…

Don’t be that guy that uses straps for every set of deadlifts, rows, shrugs, front squats, and cleans you ever do. Your grip will get stronger as long as you keep working it. If you are really struggling on heavy shrugs and deadlifts, by all means use them, but don’t get carried away. You should probably start doing static holds/farmer’s walks/plate pinches, etc…

[quote]waylanderxx wrote:
slazeagle wrote:
wrist straps would help but that they should only be used as a short term fix. Your grip strength should really be able to hold up and if it is not doing so, you need to keep pushing until the two parallel each other.

I don’t care how strong you are, you’re grip will always give out before your traps. IMO one has to use straps to even consider working the traps.[/quote]

I completely agree.

[quote]krazykoukides wrote:
bulldogtor wrote:

I bet you could use 120s for 8 reps with straps.

Perhaps… but I think alot of people use straps who shouldn’t. If somebody is struggling to hold on to the 40s to shrug them… somehow I just don’t think they should be using straps to reach those HUGE 60s…
[/quote]

That’s really taking it to the extreme, I don’t think anyone was suggesting that. I’ll use myself for example…I haven’t done DB rows in like 3-4 months and about 20lbs of mass, but when I was doing them I could do the 130 lbs for 25-30 reps per arm no straps. But I still can’t hold the damn BB when I do 600 lb. shrugs - not for long enough to work my traps anyway.

No one is suggesting that newbs use straps so they can shrug 60 lb DBs.

[quote]josh86 wrote:
krazykoukides wrote:
bulldogtor wrote:

I bet you could use 120s for 8 reps with straps.

Perhaps… but I think alot of people use straps who shouldn’t. If somebody is struggling to hold on to the 40s to shrug them… somehow I just don’t think they should be using straps to reach those HUGE 60s…

That’s really taking it to the extreme, I don’t think anyone was suggesting that. I’ll use myself for example…I haven’t done DB rows in like 3-4 months and about 20lbs of mass, but when I was doing them I could do the 130 lbs for 25-30 reps per arm no straps. But I still can’t hold the damn BB when I do 600 lb. shrugs - not for long enough to work my traps anyway.

No one is suggesting that newbs use straps so they can shrug 60 lb DBs.[/quote]

God damn… 600 pound shrugs? What do you dead, 750? I need to get stronger haha

Lol shrugs are easy to go heavy on, I don’t know what I can deadlift. Haven’t done a deadlift in like 6 months and about 35 lbs of mass.

[quote]crowbar46 wrote:
Farmers walks–or I should say runs–with 80 or 90 lbs. DBs. I sometimes do these outside running as fast as possible up a 25 degree, or so, grade hill. Two laps up (~30 yards or so) and back down, then rest to keep your heart from exploding; go another single lap, rest; a final lap. Your work capacity, strength endurance, and every muscle in your body will get a workout–and your grip will REALLY get tested. Add really hot weather to this and it’ll make you tough as nails!

Crowbar[/quote]

running up hill … in the snow … both ways … with no shoes!!

Seriously I 2nd the farmers walks … great way to train grip strength

[quote]waylanderxx wrote:
I don’t care how strong you are, you’re grip will always give out before your traps. IMO one has to use straps to even consider working the traps.[/quote]

That is what I was getting at. I’ve never used straps in 6 years of lifting, and I have a pretty good grip strength. But I still feel like my traps could be worked harder if I could address the weakest link in the chain.

[quote]forlife wrote:
waylanderxx wrote:
I don’t care how strong you are, you’re grip will always give out before your traps. IMO one has to use straps to even consider working the traps.

That is what I was getting at. I’ve never used straps in 6 years of lifting, and I have a pretty good grip strength. But I still feel like my traps could be worked harder if I could address the weakest link in the chain.[/quote]

Is your goal not to get big? You should be a lot bigger than you are for 6 years of lifting man.