Tip: 5 Simple Ways to Improve Grip Strength

Add a couple of these moves to your program and you'll be able to crush skulls. Or walnuts. Whatever.


A weak grip holds you back. Don't be held back. Here are five ways to build brutal grip strength:

1. Double-Overhand Grip

Go back to basics. Save the lifting straps and hook grip for your really heavy sets. Just by lifting more often with a double-overhand grip, you'll improve your grip strength tremendously.

2. Towel Pull-Up

This variation crushes your grip. With traditional pull-ups, you feel mostly the lats. With the towel pull-up, you'll feel it mostly in your biceps, forearms, and hands. Make sure to grip all the way around the towel and squeeze your hands as hard as possible each rep.

3. Farmer's Carry

No surprise here. Farmer's carries are arguably the most functional movement in the history of moving. This exercise makes your entire body strong, especially your grip. Dumbbells, kettlebells, a five-gallon bucket of water... it doesn't matter. Any heavy object you can carry in your hands works well. These can be trained for either distance or time.

4. Dead Hang

Grip strength can and should be trained with your bodyweight as well. When was the last time you performed a dead hang from a bar for as long as possible? If you're already reasonably strong and really want to strengthen your grip, try hanging by one arm.

5. Legless Rope Climb

If towel pull-ups feel easy, start incorporating legless rope climbs. No other exercise builds more functional pulling strength or grip strength. And just like in the movies, if you're ever caught in a bad situation, having the grip strength to hang onto a rope for dear life is never a bad thing.

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Tanner Shuck is a former Division 1A football player and accomplished CrossFit athlete. He specializes in competitive fitness, with emphasis on training absolute and relative strength. Tanner is an online coach and personal trainer based out of Dubai, UAE. Follow on Instagram