T Nation

Shrugs and Grip Strength

[quote]josh86 wrote:
Is your goal not to get big? You should be a lot bigger than you are for 6 years of lifting man. [/quote]

I need to update my pic so people stop saying that. Not that I couldn’t put on more muscle, but it’s not as bad as you think lol.

[quote]josh86 wrote:

That’s really taking it to the extreme, I don’t think anyone was suggesting that. [/quote]

Lol I know man. Not to be a dick… but I kinda doubted that forlife needed straps for the hyuuuuge weight he was using. That’s why I threw that out there… and I’ve seen close friends of mine… who can barely shrug 35s… put on straps so they could shrug more. Absolutely embarassing!

I was trying to say that there is a point where you should and shouldn’t use straps. I refuse to use straps right now cause I don’t think my strength levels are worthy of them yet.

Someone like you who can BB shrug 600lbs though… yeah… you definitely have an excuse to use straps lol

Yeah that’d be a good idea

when people say straps, it doesn’t mean that you need to use them on every set.

You can work your warm up and work over sets no straps then just do the heaviest sets with the straps. This means that you are working the weakest link and still progressing.

My forearms are very strong, but I still use them for almost all of my heavy pulling movements. I like to row, do pullups, pulldowns etc without wrapping my thumb around so the weight is just sitting at the ends of my 4 fingers. It slips if I don’t use straps.

I agree that a beginner shouldn’t use them too often, but when you get more advanced I see no problem using them as often as you need them

Unless your training to be a competitive powerlifter or strongman, I can’t understand why anyone would shortchange their development at expense of grip strength! Using wrist straps has directly helped me increase the size and strength of my traps, lats, lower back, and biceps, to name a few.

Not to mention that they allow me to generate more power because I can grip the weight without wrapping my thumb around it, just like waylanderxx points out.

If people out there are really that concerned that using wrist straps will cause their forearms to remain freakishly tiny in comparison to the rest of their growing body, throw in a couple of a forearm exercises to compensate.

In closing, wrist straps are the shit.

While I completely agree that straps should be used sparingly, it would be nice to share what different people do for their forearms besides farmer’s walks. Thoughts?

I know I struggle with the 130 DBs now, as I usually lose my grip at rep 8 or 9, but just doing simple things like working the gripper helped me get here. Also, some gyms are hard to do things like farmer’s walks. I know in my gym theres not much room and if I dropped a DB, I would probably be kicked out.

I do own a pair of straps but I think I’ve used them once or twice total. Guess I need to dig them out, huh?

I do forearms once a week:

4x15 BB wrist curls with wrists supported on the bench
4x15 BB wrist curls behind the back
3x25 DB wrist extensions( knuckles are facing up and I tilt them towards me)
3x30 DB qrist torque thingies haha (I take a heavy DB in the hammer grip and just tilt my hand back and forth)

That’s enough for me!

waylander, ever tried a Thor’s Hammer? Good alternative to a number of those excercises.

[quote]Big Aristotle wrote:
Unless your training to be a competitive powerlifter or strongman, I can’t understand why anyone would shortchange their development at expense of grip strength! Using wrist straps has directly helped me increase the size and strength of my traps, lats, lower back, and biceps, to name a few.

Not to mention that they allow me to generate more power because I can grip the weight without wrapping my thumb around it, just like waylanderxx points out.

If people out there are really that concerned that using wrist straps will cause their forearms to remain freakishly tiny in comparison to the rest of their growing body, throw in a couple of a forearm exercises to compensate.

In closing, wrist straps are the shit. [/quote]

Completely agree man! I resisted straps but gave in when my back workout was comprimised. Your grip is always going to be the weakest link. They allow me to focus on what I should be, not trying to keep from dropping the weight.

[quote]Cockney Blue wrote:
waylander, ever tried a Thor’s Hammer? Good alternative to a number of those excercises.[/quote]

Not really a grip builder though a good movement.

I do these kinda finger pulldown/wrist curl things with a high cable and a stirrup handle with a rotating handle sometimes that really blast the grip real good.


Not trying to stir up an argument or go against the grain, but why not just use an alternative, hook, or train the grip?

My grip is also the weak link but I tried doing rack holds today and maybe I can build my grip enough to not ever need straps. I do realize that at some point in my training, I may need to add in that piece of gear but why not resist using them for as long as possible by doing exercises to strengthen the grip?

Here’s an old pic of Bob Peoples deadlifting 700lbs with a double overhand grip. There are others who can do this also J.C. Hise is another. These guys were holding on to 700lb barbells before straps were invented.

Again, not criticizing anybody who uses straps, just stating that they may not be needed.

Come on now guys, its obviously you should never use straps because it’s not functional.

[quote]Sword wrote:
Come on now guys, its obviously you should never use straps because it’s not functional.[/quote]

don’t start all that crap again

[quote]alit4 wrote:
Sword wrote:
Come on now guys, its obviously you should never use straps because it’s not functional.

don’t start all that crap again[/quote]

Haha I was just kidding.

I forgot this was the bodybuilding forum, you guys don’t care about grip strength.

[quote]krazykoukides wrote:
Lol I know man. Not to be a dick… but I kinda doubted that forlife needed straps for the hyuuuuge weight he was using. That’s why I threw that out there… and I’ve seen close friends of mine… who can barely shrug 35s… put on straps so they could shrug more. Absolutely embarassing![/quote]

I don’t recall saying anything about the weight I was using. I was shrugging 280 pounds and felt my traps could take more, but was having to regrip the weights after only doing 5 reps.

[quote]forlife wrote:

I don’t recall saying anything about the weight I was using. I was shrugging 280 pounds and felt my traps could take more, but was having to regrip the weights after only doing 5 reps.
[/quote]

I know. I just doubted you were using a big enough weight that I would consider using straps for (because of your avatar) And I was right. So there ya go.

I became overly dependent on straps years ago and never really could get away from them even for some movements which shouldn’t have required them. This time I have stayed away from them altogether having been made leery by that past experience. I have directly worked my grip pretty hard though from the start to avoid my previous situation.

A couple guys, like Sasquatch and Ramo (I think Ramo) who I consider to be better sources of information than myself advocate using straps where grip would limit progress on some exercises while actively working the grip on others like somebody else said already.

It would be a shame to reduce poundages on stuff like deads and shrugs where more weight is clearly beneficial because your grip is lacking. On the other hand relying on straps for everything and not increasing grip strength isn’t optimal either.

[quote]krazykoukides wrote:
I know. I just doubted you were using a big enough weight that I would consider using straps for (because of your avatar) And I was right. So there ya go.[/quote]

Sounds like you’re shrugging even less than me, I think we could both work our traps better with straps. Might give it a try next week.

[quote]forlife wrote:
Sounds like you’re shrugging even less than me, I think we could both work our traps better with straps. Might give it a try next week.[/quote]

I’ve never tried a ‘machine shrug’ so i couldn’t tell you how much I could shrug that way. Did you mean on a smith machine or what?

I’ve always only done DB shrugs cause my traps respond well to them because I can really get a great contraction at the top. I like to hold it at the top for a few seconds. I’ve been using the 80s lately with high reps… 20+. Been trying to bring up my chest to match my traps and shoulders… and I’ve been trying to stall like crazy to use the 100s my gym has… cause that’s the heaviest DB they have.

[quote]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.
[/quote]