During dead-lifts, when the barbell is in its highest position (off the ground), I'm loosing my grip. I try my best to hold tight, but I can't stop my fingers from uncurling from around the bar. During this, my right hand grip is still tight enough. It's because of this deficiency in grip strength that I'm unable to add more weight to the barbell.

How can I improve my grip strength?


3 Answers 3


There is more than one type of grip training available, and you want to make sure you select the right one:

  • Pinch grip (plate pinches, etc.)
  • Crushing grip (tennis ball, "captain's of crush")
  • Supportive grip (deadlifts, farmer's walks)

Since your stated goal is to handle more weight on deadlifts, you want to make sure you train your supportive grip. I will point out that if you are using mixed grip, your pronated hand (palm facing away) will always be weaker than your suppinated hand (palm facing you). That said, to pull more you can't drop the barbell.

Grip Training Strategy:

  • No more than every other week. Training grip too often can actually cause it to become weaker and adds a lot more training stress.
  • Endurance Training. Using lighter weights, attempt to increase time.
  • Intensity Training. Using heavier weights, attempt to increase the weight you can hold.

The two best grip training exercises I employ are:

  • Deadlift Holds: On your last deadlift set, simply hold the bar until your grip gives out.
  • Farmer's Walks: Pick up heavy implements and carry them for distance or simply hold for time.
  • Axle or Fat Gripz Deadlift Holds: Just as the name implies. Hold a 2" axle or a barbell with fat gripz on them for time. You'll have to use lighter weight as the thicker bar makes holding on to it significantly harder.

The farmer's walks have conditioning benefits as well as grip training, and they have helped my grip training a lot. If training for endurance, you'll want to hold the farmer's walk implements for up to 20-30s or 50 feet before increasing weight. If training for intensity, hold for 10s or 10 feet before increasing weight.


I assume you use regular grip rather than mix grip because otherwise you would just be doing mixed grip in whatever direction made you stronger.

Just keep working it. If you're nearly failing in the left hand, but holding steadily with the right, it means your left hand is working harder and should thus catch up eventually.

I don't think there's anyone who can lift any serious weight with regular grip though. Try mixed grip and alternate which hand is pronated.


What grip style are you using?

I would focus on grip training and avoid using any straps, they hinder grip development.

For grip training, I would include pull-up bar hangs, heavy farmer walks, plate pinches, standard barbell training using thicker barbells. If your gym doesn't have thicker barbells, try wrapping a towel around it, squat pads or even using something like Fat Gripz.

  • Assuming he's doing mixed grip lifts, regular grip deadlifts should work as well.
    – Mårten
    Commented Jun 23, 2015 at 6:03

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