Grip strength holding a rope

How to Increase Your Grip Strength
Written by Hunter Britt 

Around 2017 the use of gymnastics grips in crossfit for the purpose of saving your forearms in workouts really took off. That is a two birds-one stone situation: save your grip strength and save your skin. 

Until they were recently banned, people were using them to save their forearms on deadlifts. The immediate performance increase might be causing a decline in future performance. Of course, be smart and save your skin so you can keep training consistent.  But you still need to make sure that your grip is getting the training it deserves. 

How to increase your grip strength 

You have two options to make sure your pinchers are ready to clamp down with maximum force. 

  1. Perform some of your training, that is not going to rip your hands, without your grip saving gymnastics grips. 

Just like a lifting belt. There is a time and place for the assistance and performance boost. If you are always training with grips then you are missing out on a big opportunity to improve not just muscular endurance, but also absolute strength. Even the bottom of a muscle up or chest to bar is a fairly high strain on the forearms given the forces from the swing when you are at the bottom so think about when you can get some of the bonus grip training in and when you need to protect your hands. 

  1. Regularly perform grip specific exercises.

Here are a few easy go-to sets to try:

  • Five sets of:
    • Dumbbell Farmer Carry x 45-60 seconds (Maximum Dumbbell Weight)
    • Rest as needed


  • Four to Five sets of:
    • Deadlift Overhand Hold (No straps or Hook Grip) x 20-30 seconds
    • Rest as needed
    • (You can take off of blocks or out of a power rack so you only deadlift the weight 1-2 inches to lockout)


  • Your Dad’s favorite! Get yourself a set of forearm grips with a couple different resistance options and train your grip like other lifts.

Invictus Strength Program 

Ready to work on grip strength, among many other things? Check out the Invictus Strength Program. Spend dedicated time on building your base lifts – the squat, bench press, overhead press and deadlift.

2 Invictus athletes benching to increase their strength

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