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Everything You Need to Know About Grip Strength

Here is a collection of some of our favorite articles on grip strength, featuring all the whys and hows of building incredible, superhuman grip strength.

Bryan Krahn advises us to "Get a Grip!"

"Do not spend another day floundering through life with skinny, dorky forearms."

David Dellanave tells us to "Improve Your Crush"

"Grip training may actually be the highest payoff training you will ever do."

 Bret Contreras talks grip with Adam T. Glass

"Take any person and make their hands even 15% stronger and we see a much larger output of strength from them. The hands are always the limiting factor in strength."

Jedd Johnson on training "A Grip Like a Vice"

"It may not make sense to you right off the bat to take time to train the hands and lower arms while at the gym. I know when I first learned about it, it seemed like a complete waste of time to spend valuable training time on less than 5% of your body, but the truth of the matter is having a strong grip pays many dividends both in your training and elsewhere."

Mighty Joe Musselwhite with a comprehensive grip training program

"When it comes to increasing one's crushing strength or supporting strength then thick-bar training is king."

American Ninja Warrior contestant Brian Arnold gives grippers a try

Matt Cannon Ask Me Anything on Grip Training Reddit

Maria Bascetta on Women's Grip Strength

"Grip is undoubtedly one of most under appreciated components of being strong. And that’s too bad because it can affect everything."

Guest Post: Why You Should Train Your Grip by Jedd Johnson

Following is an article by famed Diesel Crew grip athlete Jedd Johnson:

Sometimes people ask me why the heck I would want to put all of that time into training only 5% of my body.

I understand why people ask this. In fact, when I first heard about training Grip, I thought it was a waste of time too.

However, I did think it would be cool to tear a deck of cards in half so I decided to give Grip Training a try.

Within a few weeks I was tearing decks of cards, but to my surprise, a lot of my other lifts were also going up.

For instance, at this time, I went from being able to strictly perform a seated curl with a 65-lb dumbbell to a strict curl with an 85-lb Dumbbell.

So I could curl a bit more – who cares right?

Well, the fact is, I also started seeing increases in many of my other lifts as well. My Bench Press, Squat, Overhead Press, and my Deadlift all went up when I started seriously training for Grip Strength.

This was somebody who had already been training seriously for full body strength, not just bodybuilding, for a couple of years, and my numbers went up in just about EVERYTHING that involved my hands somehow.

One of the first things I tell anybody that writes me an email, calls me, leaves a comment on YouTube or at the website is that if you want your numbers to go up, you need to start training the grip seriously.

Now, I am not saying that you have to set aside an hour per workout to train all Grip disciplines. And I’m not saying that if you take a sheet of newspaper and crumple it up once you roll out of bed in the morning you are going to PR in the Bench Press – YOU HAVE TO DO IT RIGHT TO GET THE RESULTS.

If you do include Grip training for all aspects of lower arm performance on a regular basis, you will see significant improvement.

When your Grip is strong, EVERYTHING else gets stronger. And it doesn’t have to be a pulling movement like a deadlift, row, or curl.

Even if you are performing a press – Bench Press, Overhead Press, Military Press, if your Grip is more secure, you are going to move more weight. Check it out:


Four Reasons YOU Should Train Grip

1. Confidence:

When you grab the bar and you are shaky, how confident are you going to be in trying to move that weight? You’re not – you’re going to be more worried about dropping the thing on your throat than you are pressing it.

On the other hand when you grab onto the bar and control it so it doesn’t even waver a millimeter from the point of lift off, to the descent, and to the lockout, you’re going to push up bigger numbers because mentally, that is all you’re going to be thinking about – Smashing PR’s.

2. Endurance:

Let me ask you this question
. When you are trying to get stronger, do you ALWAYS stay within the 1 to 3-rep range? How about if you are trying to burn off that beer gut, or trying to look better for the gym? Do you just hit a few sets of singles and then head home for a recovery drink?

Hell no.

You probably perform hundreds of reps when you go to the gym. So that’s where Grip comes into play again. Many people I have seen stop their set when their grip gives out. Their set is dependent on how long they can hold onto the implement.

Is that you? Do you set the bar back down when your hands or wrist start to tire out? Wouldn’t it make sense to strengthen your hands and wrists a bit more so your rep per set average went up?

Get stronger hands, and you’ll get more reps whether its with with 60%, 85%, and 100% of 1RM in the Bench. Think I’m crazy? Check out how many articles Jim Wendler has written about Grip Training for a bigger bench.

3. The Link Between the Hands and Body:

Your hands are hard-wired into your central nervous system, guys. When your hands fire harder, everything between them and your spinal cord gets activated more intensely and allows for better performance.

Have you ever seen an arm wrestler arm-wrestling with a limp wrist or hand? NO. They squeeze the other dude’s hand in order to load tension. Loading this tension solidifies their forearm, their elbow, and their shoulder.

It’s got many names – Radiant Tension, Irradiation, Co-Contraction – it doesn’t matter what you call it. When you activate the hands, you will Bench more. PERIOD.

4. Injury Prevention:

Have you ever tried to bench when your wrist hurt? Have you ever tried to bench when you had a sore spot in your forearm? Have you ever tried to bench when something in your elbow was giving you trouble? Chances are most people reading this have felt this and unfortunately when you have pain, it makes your lifts go down and makes you perform fewer repetitions.

Grip has a stereotype of being a “hand strength” thing, but it isn’t. Grip is everything from the elbow down. The muscles in the forearms help keep the elbow stable and safe, while also strengthening the entire region. The same goes for the wrist. So, if you train your Grip the right way, you will have fewer injuries, miss fewer workouts, and lose fewer reps in the gym.

Grip Helps Everything

Right there are just four benefits of having a strong grip. And Grip doesn’t just help you in the bench press. Grip helps everything.

Even if you are doing crunches , if you flex the Grip muscles, you WILL get a better full body contraction. Don’t believe me, then try it right now.

Here are more ways a stronger Grip will help you in your training.

…A Stronger Grip helps you perform more reps per set in your workout.

…A Stronger Grip helps you have better endurance in longer duration sets and in strength complexes…

A Stronger Grip helps you feel more confident with heavier lifts so you can push more weight without worry…

A Stronger Grip helps you you have fewer injuries, by being more resilient. AND if you do get an injury, having stronger lower arms and hands helps you bounce back quicker.

- See more at:

Ninjas Need Holding Power!

We are proud sponsors of American Ninja Warrior athlete Brian Arnold! Here are some training tips we have for aspiring ninjas.

Ninjas need holding power! Using grippers to train your crush:

Ideally you need a warm-up, working and challenge gripper. Our example uses the HG150, HG200 and HG250, but there are other strengths. Get HG (Heavy Grips) grippers here >


Suggested Exercises and Gym Tips

  • Warm-up gripper (HG150) for sets and reps, such as 3 sets of 10.
  • Working gripper (HG200) for timed holds. Pinch anything (quarter, pen, playing card) between the handles and try to keep it from falling. Do about 5 holds for 10-20 seconds each.
  • Challenge gripper (HG250) for max crush attempts. Give it hell and try to make the handles touch. (If they don’t touch, then it’s not closed!)
  • Chalk helps everything. Apply climbing chalk liberally.
  • Use a small towel with any pulling motion in the gym, such as pull-ups, any cable machine or farmer’s walks.


Grip News