Deadlift Grip Strength: 4 Exercises for a Vice Grip
If you can’t hold it you can’t lift it.
Dropping a 1RM deadlift sucks but it happens, although failing every training session due to weak deadlift grip strength is an issue which needs to be fixed.
The best way to improve your deadlift grip strength instantly is to chalk up and change your grip technique (Deadlift Grip: 3 Grip Variations to Hoist More Weight).
Though this can only take you so far.
At some point, you may need to increase deadlift grip strength (the muscles of the forearms and hands). The following 4 exercises build these muscles and increase deadlift grip strength:
Farmers Walks for Deadlift Grip Strength
The farmers walk is one of the best exercises you can do for general strength.
Helping to build a strong set of forearms and hands, as well as an upper back and core.
It is also one of the simplest exercises you can do to improve deadlift grip strength. Simply engage your back muscles, maintain a neutral spine, and then start walking.
You can use heavy dumbbells, heavy kettlebells, a trap bar or any farmers walk implements.
I like to do farmers walk 3 ways:
- Long distance light weight (40-60m)
- Moderate distance moderate weight (20-30m)
- Short distance heavy weight (10-15m)
All of these will be great for your deadlift grip strength. Though making it more specific will make them even more effective:
- If your grip fails you on high load low rep deadlifts train with moderate distance/weight and short distance/heavy.
- If you struggle with high repetition work lean towards moderate distance/weight and long distance/ light weight training.
Use a Double Overhand Grip When Possible
In most cases, if you’re a strong deadlifter you have to use a grip variation like the mixed grip on your heavier sets.
However, unless you want to practice the form of performing a mixed grip, there is no reason to use it for your lighter sets or any other set where you can maintain good form in a double overhand position.
Gripping the barbell with a double overhand position whenever you can will help you maintain/develop a strong grip.
Thick Bars or Fat Gripz Deadlifts
If your goal is to deadlift more weight don’t overdo on these.
Thick bar deadlifts are a nice exercise, but a straight swap with Olympic bar deadlifts may not be the best choice. Your grip will increase but you’ll see a decrease in your deadlift strength, as you’ll be lifting such a low percentage of your 1RM.
A smarter choice could be to throw some Fat Gripz on the bar after your main deadlift sets, and do 1-3 sets of fat bar deadlifts with the sole focus of improving grip strength.
My favourite option is to use the Fat Gripz on assistance exercises like: Fat grip bent over rows, fat grip dumbbell rows, and fat grip chin-ups.
Pull-up Bar Hangs
With either one or two hands, grab onto a pull-up bar and hang for as long as possible. Making sure to maintain tightness in your upper back – don’t just hang freely.
It’s a nice variation as it’s less tiring than the other exercises as it doesn’t add more load to the spine.
Perform 2-4 sets of these at the end of your workout or after a set of pull-ups. They provide a nice low stress way to increase your deadlift grip strength.
Again, if you just want to improve you’re deadlift grip mixing up your grip from will probably be the best route (Deadlift Grip: 3 Grip Variations to Hoist More Weight). However having a strong grip is fucking badass and I hope these exercises will help accomplish that.