When you talk about guys benching 700+ on the bench or squatting over 1000 or deadlifting over 900, do you think about strength? Of course, but imagine what their grip must be like. For those guys to handle such weight, they have to work their grip in some way. Doing hammer curls are okay but not direct grip work. I remember shaking the hand of Ed Coan and the man has a "vice-grip" for a handshake, as well as he should with the weight he handles in training alone. There are ways of training your grip.
Get A Grip
Holding objects for a certain time period helps with grip strength. Try holding some heavy dumbbells or heavy weight on the barbell and have a buddy time it while you hold it for as long as you can. Keep timing it every week and see if your time goes up. If it doesn't, your using too much weight and need to drop some.
Walking with the dumbbells (if you have room in your gym for it) like in the strongman will help your grip as well. The point of holding objects in your hand is to "force" you to tighten your grip to hold on. If you just let the dumbbell or barbell "sit" in your hand, your not going to improve your grip that way.
Also, during any barbell or dumbbell exercise, tighten your grip throughout the movement, don't just let the weight sit in your hand. There is an exercise I used to do called Swinging DBs. Remember the wrist curls and reverse wrist curls? Well, your doing them standing up and as you start the movement, you swing the dumbbell using your wrists away from you and then into your sides and back and forth.
This will help with your grip strength as well as put some size on your forearms as well. Do this with light weight, you obviously can't go very heavy on those simply because of the range of movement.
Another way is by use of the grippers. Now, I'm not talking about those out of Wal-Mart or K-Mart. Those are okay but are too easy to close. Bill Morrison has some awesome grippers at http://heavygrips.com. He has five grippers, each with a different level of strength, Heavy Grip 100, 150, 200, 250, and 300.
Most gym rats I've tested to close these grippers were only able to close either or both the 100 and 150. The numbers represent the pounds of pressure it takes to close them. Believe it or not, most powerlifters are able to close the 100, 150, and 200.
I've been able to close them all save the 300, which I'm close on! But they are great. Now you're probably asking yourself, how would one train their grip on these grippers? Well, just like you would train a muscle. You can overtrain your grip just like your muscles, so here's how it would work.
You would start out with repping 100 and 150 (doesn't include closing them, just moving them!) for 8 or 10 reps. Then move on to the 200 and do 3 reps with it, rest and then do the 250 for 1-2 reps and the same with 300. After that, drop down to 100 or 150 and attempt to close them. If you're an experienced lifter capable of what I am which is closing all of them but the 300s, then you'll still do the same but closing every rep!
If that's too challenging, get something that you can handle, like the 100 and 150. Take a 2 ½ pound plate and close the gripper with the plate in the middle and hold it as long as you can. I found this to be awesome for frying your grip as well as your forearms. Then work up to doing 5lb plate and 10lb plate.
Then take the plate away and hold it with just the gripper and you'll see how strong your grip just got! If you want a challenge, use the 100 with a plate and then close the 150 and hold w/o a plate. Guaranteed to improve your grip. The HeavyGrips are awesome and they have added a lot to my training in the last few months.
For one, my wrists used to bend on benching and now it doesn't due to the fact that my grip is much stronger and is able to maintain a strong wrist. If you have the same case as me, then the gripper can help out!
Just about anyone in any sport can benefit with a stronger grip, from tennis players to fitness buffs to bodybuilders and powerlifters to martial artists. Having a good grip can help define your forearms as well as make your grip stronger. I've shook many hands in the past and some of them had impressive grips.
But there's nothing like shaking another persons' hand and delivering a crushing grip that means something. I would recommend the HeavyGrips for grip training and still do forearm work like Hammer Curls, Swinging DBs, or anything else you like to do for forearms.
Remember, train your grip once or twice a week... not too much cause like a muscle, it can get overtrained! I usually train them on a day when I'm not training abs. Start slow and don't use the grippers all time, use them only in the gym.
I used them for 3 days straight and the grippers dealt me some blisters so I had to use them like weights in the gym! I hope this article helps those out on grip issues.