How to Build Grip Strength and Better Your WOD

June 18, 2015

You're powering through a WOD as best you can. The weight is heavy, but not over the top and you're managing to maintain form with speed. the clock ticks on you start to feel your grip failing. Little by little your fingers begin to lose their stronghold and holding onto the bar becomes your biggest challenge.

Sound familiar?

Whether you're WODing or simply working on a movement like dead lifts, your grip is incredibly crucial to your success. In fact, your grip is just as important an element as building strength. So what can you do about it?

5 Grip Strength Exercises

Don't let your grip be the reason you give out on a workout. Try adding these 5 grip strength exercises to your weekly routine and see how they improve your lifts and overall performance.

Barbell Holds

Using an Oly bar, grab it with a double overhand grip with your hands shoulder width apart. Stand tall in the dead lift lockout stance. The idea is to hold for as long as you can, but if you're just getting started with your grip strength training try 3-5 sets for 10-15 seconds each set. 

As you start to see improvements up the weight and length of time you hold the bar.

Farmer's Carry

Grab some dumbbells or kettle bells - one for each hand. Basically this movement requires you to hold the weight in each hand and walk a certain distance for a particular length of time.

This is a great exercise because it adds motion to your grip. This will target not only are your forearms, but other core muscles like your shoulders, and hips. Start by walking 20 feet and progressing to 40 feet with as heavy a weight as you can.

Towel Pull Ups

All you need is a few dish towels and a pull up bar to work on this grip exercise. Drape the towels over your standard pull up bar and complete a regular set of pull ups. This will definitely challenge your grip, but do great things for you in the long run.


Plate Pinches

Plate pinches are great for improving your hook grip because they target your individual fingers rather than the whole palm.

Grab two plates and place then together. Using your fingers, pinch the plates and keep them together. Start by pinching two 5 lb plates for 30 seconds for 3-4 sets. Once this gets too easy, progress to two or even three 10 lb plates.

Hex Holds

This exercises requires dumbbells, specifically hex shaped dumbbells. All you need to do is grip the head of the dumbbell for 30 seconds. Repeat this exercises 3-5 times for best results.

And there you have it - 5 easy grip strengthening exercises that will help you dominate more WODs and lift heavier weights.

Now we want to know - have you ever considered improving your grip strength? If so, what exercises do you do? Share in the comment section below. 

 Building Grip Strength for CrossFit #crossfit