Training for Grip Strength: What’s the Point?

Why you should train your grip strength.

If you have spent any time at BUILT, there’s a good chance you would have done some direct grip training — which is a good thing, because grip training does a whole lot more than give you a sick forearm pump.

In fact, it has a number of benefits.

1. Better Gym Lifts

So many exercises rely on your grip.

Deadlifts and chin ups are two examples that come to mind. If you cannot keep a firm grip, you won’t be able to complete them successfully.

While this is not the end of the world, it is far from optimal.

If your grip is the first thing to fail, then you are not going to be working the muscles those exercises are supposed to target effectively. This is going to limit strength development in a big way.

Not to mention it will result in you doing less total work, which could impair muscle growth and fat loss.

In short, a weak grip = leaving gains on the table.

2. Better at ‘Real Life’ Stuff

I don’t care who you are, having a strong grip means being better at life.

With a strong grip opening jars of jam becomes effortless. Picking up awkward shaped objects a breeze. Arm wrestling a friend at the pub becomes a source of joy, rather than a potential embarrassment.

And carrying six bags of shopping simultaneously? 

No sweat.

Seriously, improving your grip strength means becoming better at life, which is good for everyone. 

3. Better Stability

There is some evidence to suggest that having a strong grip (and by extension, being able to grip something hard) can increase activation of the muscles around your shoulder and spine.

This nifty little phenomenon is known as “irradiation” and it can improve trunk and shoulder stability.

With this in mind, being capable of gripping the barbell harder during squats and deadlifts may make you less prone to back injuries, while helping you lift more weight in the process.

This same effect is going to be observed with things like overhead press and bench press, where a strong grip will reduce your risk of shoulder injuries while simultaneously boosting your pressing strength.

Honestly, what more could you want?

4. Better Job Opportunities

Now, a bit of a disclaimer: I have no research to back this up.

However, I am certain that people with a stronger grip give better handshakes — and everyone knows the key to a good job interview is a good first impression.

And now to complete the circle — what makes a better first impression than a firm handshake?

Nothing.

Direct grip training: getting people jobs since the early 1800s.

Take Home Points

Improving your grip strength can increase the effectiveness of your training, improve your ability to arm wrestle friends at the pub, and make you stronger and more stable. 

Build your grip at BUILT.

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