The secret to lifting more? It starts with your grip:

If you’re stuck at a plateau with your lifting, it might not be enough to do more reps or hit the gym one more time this week. Whether you’re trying to beat your deadlift PR, train for an event, or just get stronger – it all starts with a healthy grip.

Grip strength is used in almost every work out, especially in weightlifting & powerlifting. If your deadlift is stuck – it’s time to start working on your grip!

There are several ways to improve your weightlifting grip, both inside and out of the gym. In this article, we cover the top four ways to improve your lifts – even if you feel like you’ve hit a plateau.

First, cut down on strap usage:

According to Olympic weightlifting coach Greg Everett, “One of the simplest ways to start improving your grip without adding work to your training is to reduce the use of straps.”

If you’re using straps in your training, slowly start phasing them out in a few lifts per workout, until you can lift comfortably without them. This can have a significant impact on your grip strength, improving hand, wrist, and forearm strength, without adding any additional work to your exercise routine.

Hold lifts longer:

Maintaining your grip at the end of your lift is one of the best ways to improve your grip strength for weightlifting. Train this by holding at the top of a deadlift for 10-15 seconds, lifting 70% of your one-rep max. Do 3 sets per workout and you’ll quickly see your grip improve!

You can also perform a “dead hang” exercise, using an overhead bar for another way to simulate holding weight for a longer period. This has the added benefit of training shoulder, upper back, and core muscles, all while giving your upper body a great stretch.

Vary Your Grip Training to include pulling, as well as pushing:

Train grip strength

If your grip fails during a lift, it’s probably on your weaker side. This happens often when your training is uneven and focuses more on pushing exercises like the bench press.

Start implementing more “pulling” exercises into your routine to even out muscle imbalances, dominance issues, and rear-side weakness. These include exercises like pull ups & chin-ups, deadlifts, and barbell and dumbbell rows to train your back as well as your grip.


Add supplemental grip strength training:

Olympic weightlifting coach Greg Everett also recommends using grip strength training tools, like the Dynatomy VariGrip, for training reps when you’re not lifting weights.

These tools are great for building strength and dexterity when you’re out of the gym, but they are also ideal for warming up your grip before a lift.

Try doing light warm-up sets of 5 reps with something like the VariGrip Sport medium resistance to warm up, and then work up to longer training sets on the VariGrip Sport Pro. Work up to 5 reps with 3-5 second holds in the closed position to best train your grip for heavy lifts.

Don’t have a grip trainer yet? Get yours on the Dynatomy store here!