Of course, we are all about training a rock-solid 'Golden' grip, but why would you actually want to do this? What's all the fuss about with this grip strength?
Don't you already train your grip strength indirectly during deadlifts, bicep curls, pull-ups etc.? And what's the point of suddenly having very strong grip strength? "Just give me bigger biceps!" you might think.
In our opinion, grip and forearm training is one of the most underrated aspects of a lot of sports. We'd like to give you 4 reasons why.
1. Grow your arms!
Do you want big arms? Want your guns hugging the sleeves of your tshirt?
Then you probably think, like most people, that biceps and triceps are the most important for this. Now don't get us wrong, these muscle groups are certainly important and look great when they're well developed.
However, the big underrated factor in this is the forearm. When you have some meaty, powerful forerarms, you really take the appearance of your arm to the next level. Without jacked forearms, you will never get the "full" look in your arms that people are looking for.
Don't believe us? We like to show it through two examples. 1 person with big biceps, but small forearms. The other person is a world-class arm wrestler with huge forearms, but relatively poorly developed biceps. Honestly, which arm looks more impressive?
Oh, and as an added bonus: unlike the biceps and triceps, that are usually covered up by a tshirt or sweater, your forearms can be admired in their full glory year-round!
2. Injury prevention
There seems to be a worldwide epidemic of tennis elbows, golfer's elbows and tendonitis. These injuries recur in many people and are certainly not limited to athletes.
For example, many people with office jobs complain of RSI, tennis elbow and other aches and pains.
Okay, but what does grip training have to do with this?
Through grip training, you make the tendons and muscles around your forearm a lot stronger. This can help you avoid various injuries.
This is because the stronger these tendons and muscles are, the more resilient they become against injury.
Besides obviously training your muscles, an added benefit is that bone density also increases. The bones in your wrists and elbow will become stronger after you train the muscles around them more.
Stronger bones + stronger muscles + stronger tendons = less chance of injury.
Just make sure you keep the forearm muscles themselves balanced. So give plenty of attention to the muscles that provide extension as well, rather than just the muscles that provide flexion (pinching).
Grip strength is one of the most underrated aspects of many different sports. From strongman to judo, from bouldering to arm wrestling, and from MMA to bodybuilding. Grip strength is a crucial element in all of these sports.
Strange, then, that very few athletes train this directly! At the same time, this is a great opportunity for you to gain a competitive advantage over your fellow athletes and raise your own performance to a higher level.
A first example is martial artists. Athletes active in judo, jiujitsu, wrestling, MMA, etc., will all be able to attest to the fact that grip strength is an important element in their sport. Large forearms and muscular hands not only demonstrate strength, but the strong grip of these is also of great use when grabbing someone.
As a second example, we go to the powerhouses of the world: strongman, powerlifters, crossfitters, bodybuilders, etc. They too will all recognize the importance of strong grip strength. For example, it's going to be quite difficult for a strongman to perform a 300kg farmers' walk on a 30-meter slope without having some brutally strong foreams.
Then we have athletes like climbers and arm wrestlers who can make a difference with their grip strength. Climbers are completely dependent on their grip strength. Their entire body weight often hangs from 1 hand, so a strong grip is vital.
And hey, even if you're not into sports. Those grocery bags really do have to be carried from the car into your house in one go.... Not to mention the jam jars that are always so hard to open!
4. It's fun!
We can keep giving you all sorts of rational benefits, but perhaps most important of all.... it's a lot of fun!
You can constantly go for PRs, track your progression easily and you'll find that you'll progress very quickly. What's further nice about grip training is that it doesn't exhaust your nervous system as much.
When you want to go for a PR for a squat or deadlift, for example, your body really has to recover for a while after that. Grip training only uses the muscles in the forearm, so this will not have nearly the same exhausting effect on your body as e.g. a squat/deadlift. However, get ready for some serious soreness in your forearms ;).
Also, the chance of injury is minimal. All sorts of things can go wrong with large compound exercises. Back problems, your left shoulder acting up again while bench pressing, your meniscus suddenly giving up during a heavy squat, etc. Setting PRs on grip training is as safe as it gets!