When it comes to strength, most people call to mind an image of a big deadlift, a big squat, or a big Olympic lift as an example. What most athletes forget is that before you can even lift the weight, you have to grip it first. If you truly want to become stronger — whether lifting your own bodyweight in gymnastics movements or moving an external weight — it all starts with the grip. Let’s learn more about grip strength and how to develop it.
Why Develop Grip Strength?
Training grip strength does not just train your grip; rather, you are training your entire body. This training has a beneficial effect on other parts of your fitness such as endurance and stamina. Just listen to these experts.
Stronger Grip = Bigger Lifts: When you have a strong grip, you are able to lift heavier weights in the gym. Especially in pulling movements such as deadlifts, rows, pull-ups, and chin-ups, a solid grip that you can call upon will help you increase your training results by increasing strength.
Stronger Grip = Better Endurance: When your hands and lower arms are strong, you can also perform more repetitions than someone whose weak hands are a liability.
Stronger Grip = Better Injury Resiliency: Muscles and connective tissues that are strengthened are more injury-resistant, and if injury does end up taking place, stronger tissue can usually recover faster so that you are back on top of your game.
A firm grip does so much more than connect you to the bar; it turns on more proximal muscles and gets the nervous system going, as we have loads of mechanoceptors in our hands (disproportionately more than other areas on the body). As an example, physical therapist Gray Cook often cites a phenomenon called “irradiation,” where the brain signals the rotator cuff to fire as protection to the shoulder when it’s faced with a significant load in the hand, as with a deadlift. Just grabbing onto something get more muscles involved in the process.
As if that was not already convincing, he simplifies it even further:
Use the Hand – Not the Fingers – to Grip an Object
When you grip an object with your hand, there will be a natural tendency to form a false grip. How do you know you are putting the stress on your fingers? Your wrist will break to form the dreaded “backward C” — exactly the opposite of the false grip position.This applies to a barbell as well as any object which you pull towards you. A grip is more efficient when gripping an object primarily with your hand and using your fingers secondarily.