Throughout my history of training I have always felt invariably that most peoples’ weakest link fall at the distal end of their extremities. We focus so hard on larger muscle groups and core training that we end up neglecting the furthest reaches of our anatomy and missing out on greater overall body strength. The grip being a prevailing shortcoming of many, I seek to address a weak hand, wrist and forearm with a simple routine to improve strength and integrity of the fingers, hand, and forearms.
A strong grip means greater levels of confidence in all areas. It means heavier swings/deadlifts, easier pullups, and further farmer’s carries to name a few. By learning and implementing some simple and effective drills twice a week in addition to your regular routine you will see improvements in the aforementioned areas as well as the potential for increased confidence in your handshakes.
Because no one likes being handed a dead fish dammit.
1. Axle Bar Bicep Curls
This should really just be the staple barbell curl for any and all lifters. Targeting not only the biceps and shoulders, stressing the grip for added strength. This lift will be more difficult out the gate, but long term the wrist and forearm strength gained will be of incalculable value.
2. Captain of Crush Isometrics
Find the highest CoC gripper you can reasonably handle and make this your go to gripper. Maintain a locked arm and close the gripper, holding closed for 5-10 seconds. You cannot pass up a chance to crush the grip.
3. Sledgehammer Levers
In terms of old timey strongman baddassness this one is up there. Improving finger, wrist, and forearm strength through poor leverage and controlled deliberate movement you can target an oft neglected portion of the forearm: flexor carpi ulanris.
4. Sledgehammer Rotations
When it comes to improvement wrist movement and strength as well as integrity this is the way to go. Taking the sledgehammer and holding as far from the head as your are able, lock your upper arm against your body at a 90 degree angle with your forearm in a supine position out front. Take the sledgehammer and rotate the head all the way over into a prone position maintaining control the entire time and then return to start. Get ready to have the brachioradialis from hell.
There is almost zero organization needed when it comes to implementing these drills for gains in strength. Making sure you pick realistic rep ranges at feasible weights that can be done repeatedly is all that is needed. But because it appears that you usually need to hold someone’s hand through everything here we go:
- Fat Bar Curl x5-8
- CoC Iso 5-10seconds per arm 1/1
- Sledgehammer Levers 10lbs x1-3 per arm
- Sledgehammer Rotation 10lbs x5-10 per arm
- REPEAT 4-5 ROUNDS 2X A WEEK