Attention: The 7pm WOD Class at Albany CrossFit is cancelled due the Games Class. Come join KeHo for an hour of old-school fun, think gym class for adults. See you there!
Have you ever noticed that during some of your workouts that it wasn’t your legs or your shoulders that gave out, but what forced you to put the bar down was the fact that you could no longer grip the bar? I am sure by now that many of you have noticed that CrossFit can be very grip intensive. Exercises such as kettlebell swings, toes-to-bar, deadlifts, snatches, pullups, and workouts like "Grace" can tax your hands.
Now here is a good question, when was the last time you came in and worked strictly on your grip strength?
There are numerous ways to improve your grip strength and all the tools necessary can be found at our boxes. Here are a few ways to work on your grip strength and in turn step up your game!
1) When working the deadlift, try and keep your grip the same way until it is absolutely necessary to use an alternating grip. Typically with the deadlift we go with heavy weights and the more you can stick with a double overhand grip the better it will be for improving your grip strength.
2) Train with a thicker bar. At ACF we have axels that are thicker than our standard bars. By using a thicker bar it activates muscles in your shoulders differently than on a standard bar. So, occasionally during a workout ask a coach if it would be appropriate to use an axel bar instead of a standard bar. A good exercise to use an axel bar would be during a deadlift, thruster, or any of the exercises involved in the push press series.
3) Take a tool from strongman and use it to your advantage. This tool is the farmers handles located in the corner of the triple wide. There are two ways to use these bad boys. Again, the width of the handles are thicker than the standard bars that we use. One way to use these farmers handles is to load up some weight on a set of handles and setting the timer and holding that weight for as long as possible. Another exercise you can do is the farmers walk. Again load up a set of handles with some moderate to heavy weight and walk until your hands are screaming "bloody-murder" and you are forced to drop those handles. This exercise works more than just your grip. As you walk the weight will shift back and forth, forcing you to use your stabilizing muscles as well.
4) Finally, my last tidbit of advice is to just hang. Practice hanging from the pullup bars and timing yourself. If this isn’t challenging enough for you then use two small towels and wrap them around the bar and hold onto the towels for as long as possible.
Play around with these exercises, you are more than welcome to change up time intervals, maybe Tabata, maybe a few max effort tests. The point is to work on it consistently and you'll reap the benefits. Now get going on it!