Functional Training Institute

How to Develop Your Grip Strength

In this video, Nathan Quinn, our Head of Education and Peter Kirk, one of our Senior Trainers, show you how important grip strength is for many kettlebell and barbell exercises, and also how to further develop your grip strength. Peter notes that ‘Your back is only as strong as your grip’. Developing grip is crucial for effectively performing a huge range of exercises, especially exercises involving barbells and kettlebells.

There are over 35 muscles involved in movement of the forearm and hand, with many of these involved in gripping activities.

Developing Grip Strength will help facilitate stronger lifts such as barbell deadlifts and pull-ups where often it is the grip muscles that fail the aspirant. Not to mention the positive effects for recreational activities like rock climbing and into more specific sports like wrestling, tennis, golf need strong flexor muscles whilst also maintaining good stability of the extensor muscles.

To enhance and develop grip strength, you can perform ‘Bar Hangs‘. This movement not only improves your grip strength from a hanging perspective, but also improves it for exercises such as deadlifts and power cleans.

Bar Hangs:

Bar hangs are a simple way of improving your grip strength. Simply jump up on to a bar and keep your shoulders activated and your lats engaged. You should remain tight through your core whilst performing the bar hangs.

Hang for as long as possible. Aim for 60 seconds in the beginning and then progress towards 5 minutes. You can also switch up your grips during the bar hangs. In the video, we demonstrate a pronated grip but you can use a supinated grip, switch grip or neutral grip. Each will have a unique benefit.

Hangs are perfect for building not only grip strength but also grip endurance. This will help fatigue, when performing key kettlebell exercises.


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