When it comes to strength training, grip training and consideration of grip is often one of those forgotten aspects of training. Many of my clients and myself included will often perform an exercise without thinking about how a change in the grip (be it width, stability etc) could assist in varying the exercise. Many of the push, pull and arc movements that we perform and the tools we use (dumbells, kettlebells, barbells, grip attachments) have standardised grip sizes and therefore we often only train one grip width the majority of the time. This is not to say it is a bad thing, but if you are looking for variation in your training and are wanting to ensure your improve your bodys ability to develop strength that incorporates grip, then one should look to vary grip regularly.

So how can one look to vary grip in their training?

  • Grip tools such as the FatGripz, angles 90, finger loops can be attached easily to barbells, dumbbells, fixed bars and cable pulleys to allow you to vary push, pull and arc movements.
  • Change your hand grip by going thumb over or thumb under when gripping tools.
  • Change the position of your hand on a dumbbell or barbell by offsetting the weight to challenge or bias load in specific areas.
  • Use simple tools such as rope attachments or towels and grip these to challenge your grip further.
  • Change the way your grip is focused by consciously focusing the tension through 4th and 5th digits or thumb and 2nd, 3rd digits
  • Think about changing time under tension with your exercises by increasing the time you are required to grip.
  • Don’t just think hand grip, but also finger strength and therefore try and build strength through exercises that require you to use your fingers as well.

The list above is not exhaustive and there are many ways one can look to vary up their grip in training.

Below are some examples we use at our clinic when training ourselves or clients to give you some ideas.

Next time you hit the gym and are about to perform your exercise routine, take a quick 5 minutes and think about some opportunities to challenge your grip.

This blog post was written by osteopath Heath Williams of Principle Four Osteopathy. Heath is a registered osteopath and level 2 strength and conditioning coach (ASCA). Appointments can be made at the clinic by booking via our webpage or calling 0396709290.

Our clinic is located on Level 4 at 178 Collins St Melbourne City CBD 3000.