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Is the deadlift alone enought to improve my grip?

+2 votes
I've only been properly deadlifting for a few months now and the weights are going up nicely but my grip has begun to struggle over the last 2 sessions. I reckon I'll easily be able to add more weight in the next session but it also look like my grip will fail me.

I'd rather not use straps as I want to have a good grip so should I be doing some grip work or will my grip just improve by doing deadlifts?
asked Dec 4, 2012 in Exercises by Normski Gym Novice (345 points)  
40% Accept Rate

edited Dec 5, 2012 by RobConnor

2 Answers

+2 votes
Improving your grip is an important aspect of weight training but it is always a bottle neck with exercises where you have to lift serious amounts of weight. Doing forearm exercises can improve your grip, but only to a to certain extent. For exercises like deadlifts or even weighted pull-ups, you can never match the gripping power and the weight to be lifted.

The weight you can potentially lift is always greater than the weight you can comfortably grip. It is that simple. One solution is to use better gloves with rubber padding to improve the friction between the barbell/dumbell and the hand. The second, inevitable solution is to use lifting straps.

I was against their use back in the days but from personal experience, I saw great improvements in my lift when I started using them. Also, your wrists are sparred and chances of wrist injury are reduced dramatically. To sum it all up. There's no alternative to a great grip so go for exercises that build better forearms. However, this won't be a permanently solution so you'll ultimately have to switch to lifting straps. That's what I reckon.
answered Dec 5, 2012 by gohrkhan Gym Regular (710 points)  
edited Dec 5, 2012 by RobConnor
+1 vote
Yes, deadlift will improve your grip drastcly but unless it is the only free weight exercise in your routine many other exercises can help with the grip power. Usually most pulling exercises need a strong grip to be performed with heavy weight.

Next time at the gym, try doing dumbbell lunges and see how those hit the forearms and if you want direct training for them just do a couple of sets of farmers walk .

Hitting the forearms while training biceps is another possibility, specially with reverse curls.
answered Dec 4, 2012 by georgef Iron Addict (1,395 points)  
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