Tip: 4 Simple Ways to Build a Stronger Grip

Strengthen your grip and boost your deadlift, pull-up, row, and more. Here's how.

Grip strength is a limiting factor in a lot of people's training. And there's nothing worse than having your grip give out on you before the rest of your body does when doing pull-ups or deadlifts.

There are a lot of easy ways to develop your grip that won't burn you out. Remember, the ability to squeeze things intensely makes you stronger.

1 – Do the Single-Arm Hang

If you can easily hang for long periods of time with both arms then it's time to test out your single-arm hang. Just bear in mind that all your bodyweight is all on one shoulder, so be cautious if you're a bit heavier. Single-arm hanging is not only great for your grip strength but also fantastic for your shoulders in general.

2 – Pinch Grip Anything

Basically, grab something fat, wide, and awkward with your fingers ("pinching" it rather than wrapping your hand around it) and walk around. It's a basic drill, but it doesn't take anything fancier to build grip strength. It's a great thing to do for a few sets before farmer walks or even as a nice blow-out finisher at the end of any workout.

3 – Use Hand Grippers

These bad boys might seem like a bit of a gimmick but they're a nice piece of equipment to have lying around the house, provided you actually get a good one. You can get very cheap grippers you can squeeze all day long, so be aware of the strength of the grips themselves. The really heavy-duty ones will last you a lifetime. If you make a habit of using them every other day for a few sets, you'll get gains you don't even realize you're getting – those "this feels really light today" kind of gains.

4 – Squeeze Your Balls

Well, not your own, but the kind you buy in pet stores or toy shops. This is incredibly beneficial for injury prevention and mobility. Most grip exercises are trained with a neutral grip (where you're strongest) but using something as flexible as a ball means you can develop strength in more awkward angles. This makes your wrists more durable overall and helps you avoid overuse of one pattern. Because you'll be going through a much larger range of motion, only a little resistance is needed.


Do a few sets, even just a few reps, of each of the exercises as often as you can fit them in. You can even try programming a full grip session someday. It's great fun and a nice way to creep up your numbers.

Tom Morrison is a British weightlifting coach, martial artist, and CrossFit trainer and competitor. Tom works with athletes on prerequisite movement capabilities for optimal strength, performance, and reduced risk of injury.  Follow Tom Morrison on Facebook