Not being able to lift something for any other reason than it being too heavy is frustrating. The muscle strength is on point in every area but one; the grip. The grip is the first contact between lifter and weight. If the grip is weak or not strong enough, it does not matter how strong any other part of your body is, that weight is not moving.
Grip strength is not always a correlation to the strength of other muscles as discussed. One could have very strong legs from doing squats, in which the bar sits on the back. Another person could bench press a lot which shows they have strong shoulders and triceps, but once again, the weight is sitting on the hands and gravity is keeping the connection between lifter and weight.
Grip strength is a correlation of muscle strength in the wrists and forearms, which give the fingers and even palm the ability to close and tighten up. These muscles are usually engaged and activated the most during pulling movement such as deadlifts, pulldowns, pull-ups, and bicep training. If these muscles are lacking at all, an imbalance is revealed which in return stifles the body’s ability to get stronger and even bigger.
Many people today resort to straps and even gloves to help assist with comfortability and strength. The issue with these items is they take a way a lot of the work that the muscles in the wrists and forearms need to perform to get stronger. Yes, bars can hurt your hands and such, but in due time the body adapts and after a while you do not even think twice about it. So, first thing is if you have straps and gloves, get rid of them for a while. This is only for those looking at getting a better grip.
Another good approach is deadlifts. Many people resort to a “hook” or conventional grip when doing a deadlift because it does allow them to pull more weight. Switch up to a strict overhand or “pronated” grip, where both hands are the same in that the palms are facing you. You will not be able to pull as much weight more than likely, but you are engaging more of those wrist and forearm muscles equally in both arms.
And one final tip would be resorting to a push-pull program for about 4-8 weeks (with no gloves of course). This is where you simply break your week up into push days and pull days. This program is designed for you to keep movement count few (maybe 4-6 per day), set count around 3-4 per movements, and reps around 8-15. GO HEAVY. Since you are not doing a lot of movements and sets, get yourself tired by lifting heavier than usual. This will work for you, especially on those pull days where you are having to use those wrist and forearms muscles more intensely and consistently.
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