So I've got a bit of "small" issue. My hands are ridiculously small for my body. I'm 6ft 175lbs and my hands are same size as my gf's, who is 5'5 120lbs. Much as it is embarrassing, it's frustrating when performing pulling movements. My goal is to hit a 4 plate deadlift without compromising my grip strength. Currently I'm sitting at about 350lbs but my grip is holding me back. I know if I begin utilizing straps i'll get to 405 within a few months. However what's the point if my grip strength is non existent. What are your thoughts on this?
this is a hard one. If you ever plan on competing in powerlifting you will have to use a regular bar and straps arent alowed.
have you ever tought about using a thinner bar? There are 25 mm bars out there (i think they are sometimes called "womens" bars because they are designed for women who tend to have smaller hands than men).
Don't make it an excuse to lift baby weights. The set u feel ur grip is going to be the limiting factor lift with straps then do some back sets strapless followed by some serious grip work and do the latter more often, at least 3 times per week.
Solution: use straps and work your grip separately.
Plate pinches, fat grips on everything and heavy kroc rows without straps. You'll be surprised how quickly your grip improves.
I'm with you, man--my hands are also the same size as the average woman's. Just do the basic stuff: hold the weight at the top of the deadlift for 5-10 seconds; use Fat Gripz or a fat bar on various pulling movements or just static holds; do RDLs and SLDLs using a double overhand grip; and heavy back work in general (Kroc Rows, barbell rows, weighted pullups, etc.). For me there was never any one thing that seemed like a "magic" cure for grip--although holding the weight at the top of a deadlift and Kroc Rows SEEMED to work the best for me--I just had to put in the work and in time it improved.
I accidentally just posted this in another grip strength-related thread, but I wrote it in response to you"
I also have small hands that make gripping things difficult, but what I found helpful was doing a couple sets of direct grip work at the end of my upper body days and also adding a grip element to some of my other assistance work here and there. For the direct grip work it would usually be fat grip dumbbell holds for time, plate pinches, holding the top part of a hex dumbbell for time, etc. This kind of stuff takes just a few extra minutes each week and shouldn't interfere with your recovery at all.
As for adding a grip element to other assistance work, I'd do towel pull-ups in place of regular pull-ups, axle clean and press rather than barbell, fat grip DB curls rather than regular, etc. You don't need to swap out every exercise and turn every session into a grip training bonanza, but a little bit goes a long way. Personally I would choose exercises that still gave me a good training effect in the originally intended way and also a grip challenge. For instance I wouldn't choose to do double overhand fat grip deads in place of regular deads because I wouldn't be able to move enough weight to get an effect on my glutes, hams, back, etc. Also avoid any grip work the day before deadlifting.
The last thing you could do would be to choose conditioning options that challenge your grip. Hammer swings, hand over hand rope rows, and farmers walks all come to mind. If you have any of these options available to you I strongly suggest you utilize them.
Give yourself three months while making these changes and you'll be a pickle jar opening machine.