Whether you’re having a hard time opening a jar of pickles or can’t lockout that 600+ lb deadlift, your grip is an essential component to your overall strength. Instead of buying a pair of straps or the most technologically advanced chalk, the best practice is to develop a grip that can crush apples and tear phone books. These exercises will help you develop stronger hands and have a direct practical application to competitions such as powerlifting and strongman since you’re simulating the same technique. Even if you’re a martial artist who grapples or throws, being able to hold onto a gi is key and no matter what your goal, this routine will push your mind (and forearms) to the limit every set.
It’s important to note that in between every set, I will stretch the muscles that are being contracted for such a long amount of time. For example, I might use a thick rubber band (like the one from broccoli at the grocery) to expand my hands so they and my forearms are not in a state of constant flexion. I train many lab workers, nurses, and bakers who have developed the equivalent of a shin splint in their forearms because they’ve created such an extreme muscular imbalance. We want to avoid that in our effort to strengthen our grip. We don’t want to cause injury when trying to squeeze that level 3 Captain of Crush.
(I will mention that you’ll notice Captain of Crush work is not included in this workout. I generally superset every exercise in my bodybuilding upper day with my CoC so I avoid using them in this workout.)