Improving Grip Strength

Jim from Beast Skills showing off Grip Strength

BEAST SKILLS Grip Strength Demo

In honor of the release of the new Steelfit “BEAST” Super Thick Pull Up Bar, we thought we would devote a post to share again some of our thoughts from over the years regarding grip strength and just how important it is. 

It was  a while ago that I had the opportunity to watch an average looking guy (or so we thought) tear thick phone books in half, bend nails by hand and pick up heavy plates by pinching the center with unreal hand strength. The “grip guy” is what we called him at the time and he was anything but average when it comes to the strength of his claws. Our friend Jim Bathurst from Beast Skills is also known to have pinched some plates and demonstrate other feats of ridiculous grip strength from time to time.  Jim is pictured in this post and promises to share some quality time on the new BEAST bar with us soon.  So just how does one develop this ability and why would you want to?

If you just want a commanding/confident hand shake or if you are training to slay that next rock climb adventure, grip strength is key. In fact in just about ANY sport, a stronger grip is going to help improve athletic performance in more ways than you might think. However, while hand grip is important in sports, it can easily be overlooked since it is often only a secondary function. There are some sports however, that have made grip strength the focus; think Worlds Strongest Men Competitions….Atlas Stones, Deadlifts , Keg Throws and the like.

To work your grip and forearm, there are many traditional exercises one could do including the classic Farmers Walk and deadlifts. Personally, we like towel pull ups and thick bars for pull ups. Towel pull ups are really cool and like all pull ups, you don’t need special equipment; just a good bar, your body and in this case, a gym towel or two. While there a many variations of towel pull ups, I personally favor the version that uses two towels draped over the bar. You grab the ends of the towel in each hand and pull your body up using only the towel. The bulkier the towel, the more challenge the grip will be. You can alter this by working one arm at a time or stick with the standard version, using both hands and two towels. The further down the towel closer to the end, the harder the task and the more work involved. As you begin, there may not be much success getting full, deep pull ups. Maintaining a “hang” and/or doing negatives will also help develop the muscles until you have conquered the full motion.

For Thick Bar Pull Ups, STEELFIT has introduced a new companion that will do the trick. The new “BEAST” Bar is a super thick wall mount pull up bar. With an impressive 2-3/8″ diameter pipe, you won’t believe it when you see it.  In fact, at first glance, you may think that a piece from a childs swing set got loose in your gym…’s that thick.  Not for the avergae Joe, this bar is designed with building grip strenghth as the bottom line.  Strict pull ups, negatives or just hanging for life will improve the power in your hands to a whole new level.

So whether you bring out the towels or attempt to tame the “BEAST”, you WILL feel these pull ups and your forearms will be the beneficiary with improved strength in response to the increased work and the difficulty in mastering the grip.

So to become the next “grip guy”, don’t throw in the towel, throw it over a bar instead and pull!

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