On deadlift days, high rep barbell, DB or KB movements, and workouts containing pullups or toes to bar; do you ever find that your grip is the limiting factor? You're trucking along, heart rate is steady, breathing under control, but you just can't hold on to the damn bar.....
The number one piece of advice we give to improve your grip, is often the same advice we give to improve ANY limitation in CrossFit training........ do more CrossFit...... This is likely your best fix, especially if you're new to training. The forearm is a small muscle group, they'll often be the limiting factor in heavy weight and high rep movements, no matter how strong you get them.
But if your grip seems like a stubborn beast, refusing to move forward despite your beatings and cursing, here are a few homework items you can do after regular training and some things you can do within your training.
If testing a 1RM or chasing a PR on a workout, then we all know the mixed grip (one over, one under) brings the thunder; but if it's just a regular lifting session, work your grip a little harder by sticking to double overhand. Or as a compromise, stick with overhand for all of your warm up sets, and only switch for that last, 'money' set. Test yourself during a multi-round metcon by keeping to an overhand grip, even if it slows you down. It's training not testing right? If you find that you need to mix the grip on pullups as well, then same advice, avoid it unless it really counts (PR Week, comps etc)
Don’t hook grip as often.
Similar to the above point, ditching the hook grip will make you work harder to hold onto the bar during Olympic lifting. I would only recommend this to more experienced lifters, as I don't want you newbies developing bad habits, we've only just persuaded you that crushing your poor widdle thumb against the bar is a good thing!
I had one of these when I first got started training at the gym, 16 years old. I swear my forearms blew up like balloons! Or maybe it was just the mega-pump you get from these. Either way, I've upgraded to the gold standard now - Captains of Crush. These things are so epic, I think only 4 people in the world have closed the #4 gripper. I can just barely close the #1......
Fat and awkward grips
I have a pair of Fat Grips from Industrial Athletic for my home doorway pullup bar. Partly because doorway pullup bars are slippery and dodgy as all heck, but it's good grip training as well.
We also have these cool 'grenade' balls in the new room, give deadhang pullups a shot with them.
This works best with metal change plates (better incentive not to drop them too) but we have almost no metal plates left in the gym now. No matter, you can still get a decent effect. Grab a pair of 2.5 or 5kg plates and hold them together (feet out of the way!). Then add a third plate, maybe a fourth. Then go back to two plates but upgrade to heavier ones, and start again.
We love these at RCF09! You have our permission to do as many as you want after class. Best grip test? Grab two heavy KB's and walk as far as you can away from the gym in one maximal effort (until they are dangling off your fingertips...). Rest as needed, then bring them home in as few sets as possible.
These can be found in the corner by the roller door, you can safely deadlift to failure with one of these, as the grip will go before anything else.
Monkey bar hangs
Another gym favourite. Why not set yourself a record time to hang for, and try to improve it? Anyone got a 1minute hang?
Ask a coach to show you the correct technique to wrestle these bad boys.
DON’T FORGET, SATURDAY IS BATTLE ROYALE 7 OVER AT CFNZ, WE HAVE A 715AM CLASS ON. IF YOU WANT TO JOIN IN THE FUN COMP< THE FIRST HEAT WILL START SHORTLY AFTER 9AM, SO AIM TO BE HERE BY 830AM TO GET WARM AND FIND OUT WHO YOUR TEAM-MATES ARE. LUNCH AT AROUND 1230-1PM. PLEASE BRING SOME VEGGIES OR DESSERT.
Build to a heavy 5 in 20mins
Alternate sets with;
4 x 8 reps
20 Russian Swings
20 Medball Situps
20 Box Jumps or Step Ups
AMRAP in 10mins
3 x 5, all heavy, deadstart each rep
20 Deadlifts 70/45kg
20 Racked Walking Lunges
AMRAP in 10mins