Improving grip for deadlifts

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Matt Z
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Improving grip for deadlifts

Post by Matt Z » Mon Oct 08, 2007 1:12 pm

My deadlift has been stagnant for some time now, and I think my grip is the limiting factor. Not only does my grip often fail on on 1RM attempts, it also forces me to cut short many sub-maximal working sets. This problem is aggrivated by two additional factors:
1) My gym doesn't allow chalk.
2) All of the 1" diameter bars are old, and their knurling is almost completely worn off.

Consequently, I do all my deadlifting with the 1 1/2" diameter barbells, which ironically are actually a little easier to grip (since they're newer). I also use lifting gloves which help a lot. However, my fingertips still get sweaty and slippery.

Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone had any tips on improving grip strength specific to the deadlift. Also, what do you think about substituting full-finger work gloves for open-finger lifting gloves? Is there any one type of work glove that would be best suited to lifting.


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Post by hoosegow » Mon Oct 08, 2007 1:58 pm

An old power lifter swore by using a bucket of sand. You just squeeze the sand over and over.

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Post by pdellorto » Mon Oct 08, 2007 10:29 pm

I've been doing half of a grip routine from this article:

http://www.t-nation.com/findArticle.do?article=260chin2

I don't have a wrist-roller, nor plates at home. And the paper-crushing idea is cool but it generates too much trash. I'm just doing the gripper work, aiming for 3x20 gripper reps and 3x60 seconds holds. I'm getting there, and I'm thinking the static holds are going to help me the most for my deadlifts.

Peter

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Post by daniel4738 » Tue Oct 09, 2007 4:18 am

I sometimes get the same problem. I have found using k-word roll wrapped around the bar works really well

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Post by KPj » Tue Oct 09, 2007 7:35 am

you could try lynx grips, instead of gloves - www.lynxpt.com there cheap with a life time guarantee and are SUPPOSED to be good for grip i.e. better than gloves.

I used to lift with gloves, but aside from having to buy a new pair every couple of months, I didn't find them to be much good, even for preventing callouses, which they didn't do. I think the benefit you get from gloves is purely phsycological as I used to be unable to lift without them.

I don't use gloves now and haven't done for a while, i don't even use lynx grips as a replacement but I do have 2 pairs so that I can double them up to create a 'thick bar' which is good for grip / forearm strength.

KPj


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Post by Hoister » Tue Oct 09, 2007 8:32 am

As for gloves, i don't use them and don't for the very reason you are experiencing grip strength issues. Roughening up your hands with calouses (sp?) will help with the "slippage" issues associated with losing your grip. But i do know people who use batter's, golfer's and carpenter's gloves - all of which are full-fingered and have grip-like fabric/material on the palms. The carpenters gloves are the most durable. All are expensive in my opinion, but you might give them a try. You've already said that chalk is not an option - how about another gym or working out at home where chalk is allowed - just for your deads?

Grip strength - some methods i have employed to beef up my strength are:

-thick bar training - do deads with a thick bar. Wrap a towel around the bar to mimic thick bars and do holds for time
-pinch grip plates together for time
-buy a 4"x"4" fence post, drill holes through it to secure weight from using chain/rope and do deads with that. Your gym might allow you to bring in a 4-foot section that you could starp or chain to their bar!?
-go to a hardware store, scrap yard, etc - get yourself a 2" or larger diameter pipe, hang weight from it and do holds for time with that.
-Farmers walks with heavy dumbells, but alternate between gripping the bar as normal and "gripping" it without using your thumb ("cup" the bar).
-grip a barbell without your thumbs (i.e. "cup" the bar) and open/close your hands (kind of like "finger curling" the weight)
-grab hold of a chin bar with weight strapped onto your belt and do holds for time. Do this with a towl wrapped around the bar to make it thicker. Do this with and without the the thumbs. Same with one arm only.
-sandbag lifts by pinching the fabric of the bag. Timed holds, etc.
-buy yourself a softball ball - drill a hole through it to hang weight using rope/chain - do lifts and holds with it.
-You're in security aren't you? Throttle the next person who asks for it! 3 sets of 5 minutes or more.

-Hoister

Matt Z
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Post by Matt Z » Tue Oct 09, 2007 10:03 am

"-You're in security aren't you? Throttle the next person who asks for it! 3 sets of 5 minutes or more." - Hoister

Hmmm ... Usually the ones that are really asking for it are 80-year-old million-dollar investors. Don't think that would go over too well. :-)

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Post by ironmaiden708 » Tue Oct 09, 2007 11:29 am

Get your self some grippers, not the ones you buy at dick's those 2lb resistance POS. Get some that are made by Captains of Crush or Heavy Grip brand. COC 60-365lb resistance HG 100-350lbs resistance

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Post by Matt Z » Tue Oct 09, 2007 12:04 pm

"You've already said that chalk is not an option - how about another gym or working out at home where chalk is allowed - just for your deads?" - Hoister

Unfortunately, I live in an appartment so chalking up at home is out of the question. Also, I don't have enough weight to deadlift at home. I am however planning on moving soon, so maybe my next gym will allow chalk.

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Post by tim heaton » Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:45 am

Have you considered trying liquid chalk? You squirt a little on your hands and it dries automatically to leave you with a very thin covering layer of chalk. It doesn't cause any mess/dust and so you may well be able to get away with it in your gym.

It is primarily for rock climbers so you might have to find a shop online that will sell it. I live in the UK but I am sure you can also buy it in the US. Try a google search for e.g. liquid chalk beal. Some UK based links that sell it are

http://www.megagrip.co.uk/products/Mega ... _chalk.htm

http://www.outdoorsmagic.com/review/rev ... /RER/2/v/2

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Re: Improving grip for deadlifts

Post by Kenny Croxdale » Thu Oct 11, 2007 10:09 am

Matt Z wrote:My deadlift has been stagnant for some time now, and I think my grip is the limiting factor. Not only does my grip often fail on on 1RM attempts, it also forces me to cut short many sub-maximal working sets. This problem is aggrivated by two additional factors:
1) My gym doesn't allow chalk.
2) All of the 1" diameter bars are old, and their knurling is almost completely worn off.

Consequently, I do all my deadlifting with the 1 1/2" diameter barbells, which ironically are actually a little easier to grip (since they're newer). I also use lifting gloves which help a lot. However, my fingertips still get sweaty and slippery.

Anyway, I was just wondering if anyone had any tips on improving grip strength specific to the deadlift. Also, what do you think about substituting full-finger work gloves for open-finger lifting gloves? Is there any one type of work glove that would be best suited to lifting.
There are basically three types of grip strength: 1) Crushing, 2) Pinching and 3) Holding. Each of these grip strength is different.

The training exercises that work for one grip strength will not maximize the development of the other grip strengths. Crushing strength exercises such as hand grippers will not significantely improve your grip for the deadlift.

Holding strength is required for the deadlift. Holding strength is more of an endurance movement. Thus, training exercises that require you to hold on to a bar or object for longer periods (10-60 seconds or longer depending on the load) are much more specific to your needs.

Holding exercises such as:

1) Hanging from a chinning bar with weights attached.

2) Deadlift holds. Place the bar in a power rack just a little below your lockout. Pull it up and hold it for as long as you can.

3) Thick bar holds. If you don't have a thick bar, you can wear gloves. Wearing gloves is effectively the same as increasing the thichness of the bar.

You can wear the gloves when doing the pull up holds and the deadlift holds.

You want to perform these holds with the same grip as your grip would be in your deadlift.

Yiou can also vary your grip. Holding the bar with a pronated, supinated and mixed grip. A mixed grip is when one hand is supinated and the other is pronated...like powerlifters do in the competition deadlift.

I gurantee this will improve your Holding Strength for your deadlift.

Kenny Croxdale

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Post by Matt Z » Fri Oct 12, 2007 8:59 am

Thanks. I started doing static holds fairly recently, but wasn't too sure about loading. What would you recomend? Also, how often would you recomend training grip strength? Every Workout? Should I do additional grip work on rest days.

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Post by Matt Z » Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:14 am

Also, I like the idea of doing farmers walks. I wonder if the management at my gym would flip if I took a pair of dumbbells upstairs to the walking track.

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Post by Kenny Croxdale » Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:33 am

Matt Z wrote:Thanks. I started doing static holds fairly recently, but wasn't too sure about loading. What would you recomend? Also, how often would you recomend training grip strength? Every Workout? Should I do additional grip work on rest days.
As you may or may not know, I don't deadlift prior to any powerlifting meet. The downside was the I began having problems with my grip.

I found performing deadlift holds out of a power rack took care of my grip problem.

Just like deadlifting, I'd work up in sets. 225 X 60 seconds, 315 X 30 seconds, 405 X 30 seconds, 500 X 20 seconds, then 600 X 10 seconds or as long as I could hold it.

The bar that I used for deadlift holds is a thick bar. I found that once I went back to the standard diameter powerlifting bar, my grip was stronger.

The same thing applies with pull up holds. I'd use gloves to increase the diameter of the pull up bar that I was holding on to.

I used a dip belt to increase the load of the pull up holds.

I found that once a week worked great. You might try twice a week to start out with.

Kenny Croxdale

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Post by Kenny Croxdale » Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:35 am

Matt Z wrote:Also, I like the idea of doing farmers walks. I wonder if the management at my gym would flip if I took a pair of dumbbells upstairs to the walking track.
The farmer's walk would be a great grip exercise.

The management will probably freak out but give it a try. They may be ok with it.

Kenny Croxdale


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