Often times when exercising, my assisting muscles (muscles I'm holding the bar with for example) fatigue way quicker than the actual muscle I'm trying to train. Most noticible its on the Lat Pulldown. While I can't seem to hold the bar with my hands for more than 8-10 reps I feel like being able to get like 5 more reps out of my lats if only I were able to hold the bar longer.

What can be done to give me hands more endurance, so to say. I thought about strengthening the forearms, cause the muscles for moving (and thus holding) the fingers sit in the forearms. Is this the correct way to be able to hold the bar longer?

1 Answer 1


Grip strength is very important for a large number of reasons, so first of all, kudos for identifying the problem.

Common mistake

One of the reasons, as you point out, is that poor grip strength will limit the number of reps you can do, which short-changes your primary mover for that exercise.

The most common mistake is to start using straps in order to take the grip out of the equation. The problem with this is that you're hiding the problem instead of fixing it. In fact, lat pulldowns are a great grip strength builder, so now you've taken away an opportunity to improve on it!

If, however, you start working on your grip with grip-specific exercises, THEN it's fine to use straps until your grip catches up.

How to train grip strength

There are lots of cool and varied exercises you can do to improve your grip. The first thing I would recommend is looking at, is a video by David Horne where he outlines a very good starter routine. It only lasts for a few minutes, and can easily be added to the end of your session.


Also the best part about this routine, is that it's very easy to add more resistance as your strength improves.

Further resources

I could list plenty of resources, but as it happens, such a list already exists on the Grip Training subreddit.

These guys take grip strength very seriously, and have outlined various routines for anything from beginners to advanced lifters, and also depending on what your motivation is, which in this case is lifting weights.

Here is the "Master List" of routines, and here is the one recommended specifically for those looking to improve grip for weightlifting. It mentions deadlift specifically, but a bar is a bar.

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