Best grip exercise for a better deadlift (improve your grip strength)


The best grip exercise for for a better deadlift

Best grip exercise to improve your deadlift

Most people don't realize how important grip strength is for their deadlift. It's not just about building up your hands and forearms. 

The stronger your grip is, the better you'll be able to hold onto the bar and keep it from slipping out of your hand.

The deadlift is the ultimate muscle-building exercise as it activates so many muscles in one movement. The entire posterior chain is heavily taxed and the nature of the movement means that you can go really heavy with the weight. 

It doesn't matter how strong the rest of your back, legs, and arms are, if you have a weak grip, you are going to fail with big lifts. 

Don't make your grip the weakest link, take steps so that it can keep up with the rest of your body. 

Best Grip Exercise in the gym

These are the best exercises you can do to improve your grip strength at the gym. You probably already do some of them, but if your grip is still below average, add in some more!

  • Rack pull
  • Farmers carry
  • Wrist curl
  • Reverse wrist curl
  • Chin ups
  • Towel pull up
  • Plate pinches
  • Dead hang
  • Hammer curl

Rack pull

Rack pulls for better grip

Rack pulls are not only a great way to strengthen your grip for a deadlift. They are a great way to strengthen the spinal erectors and hamstrings at the same time. 

As they are a partial movement of the deadlift, you are gripping the bar for a shorter time. This means that you can ramp up the weight and build your grip with progressive overload. 

Farmers carry

Farmers carry for grip

Farmers carry is great for improving your support grip. You can use dumbbells or kettlebells and focus on progressive overload over a few weeks. 

If you are lucky enough to have dedicated farmers carry weights at your gym, you will find these much more beneficial than dumbbells or kettlebells, especially as you get to heavier loads. 

Wrist curl

Wrist curls for gip strength

Wrist curls can be coupled with reverse wrist curls in a superset for a great forearm workout. Add them on as an accessory at the end of a workout and see your grip strength go through the roof. 

Just prepare yourself for some painful DOMS if you've never used them before. 

Reverse wrist curl

This one targets the muscles at the front of the forearms. Reverse wrist curls are great for improving your grip strength and will also give your forearms a thicker appearance. 


Chin ups for a better grip

Beginners struggle with chin-ups as they rely heavily on good grip strength. Perseverance is the key here. Jump onto the bar and perform one set of chin-ups per day. 

This will not overly tax your back or biceps but will be a big help with grip strength. You will see your max reps improve after just a few days as your forearms adapt.

Towel pull-up

Towel pullups for grip

This is one for the more advanced trainers. If you find chin-ups and pull-ups too easy, try using towel pull-ups instead. 

Plate pinches

Plate pinches for grip

Plate pinches are a bit of a novelty exercise but are great for improving your grip strength. You can use them in a farmer's carry or in your lateral raises

Dead hang

Dead hangs for grip

Dead hangs can be performed on pull-up bars in the gym, in your local play park or anywhere else that there is a bar to hang from. 

It is as simple as gripping the bar and letting your body hang for as long as possible. Dead hangs are great for improving grip strength but are also useful for straightening the spine and stretching out any back issues. 

Hammer curl

Hammer curls for grip strength

Hammer curls are a great bicep exercise but also heavily activate muscles in the forearm. If you need to improve your grip strength, swap out regular dumbbell curls for hammer curls or reverse grip barbell curls and bring the forearms in to play. 

Improve grip strength at home

If you do not belong to a gym or just prefer working out at home, there are still many things that you can do to improve your grip strength. 

  • Finger press-ups
  • Reverse press-up
  • Hand hang from the door
  • Hand row from the door
  • Newspaper twist
  • Rubber band finger extensions
  • Gripper

Finger press-ups

Finger press ups for grip
Finger press-ups are great for improving strength in your hands while getting a functional, chest workout.
Add finger press-ups to your home workout routine and see your crushing grip strength rapidly improve.  

Reverse push-up

Reverse push ups for grip

The reverse push-up is a variation of a regular push up with your hands twisted 180 degrees. This forces your forearm muscles in to action and therefore promotes a stronger grip. 

Reverse push-ups can be tricky to perform, especially if you do not have good wrist mobility. Take your time and go slow to avoid injury. 

Door hangs

Door hangs for grip

Door hangs are a simple and convenient grip strength exercise that you can do at home. 

Simply grab the edge of a door, bend at the knee, and lean backwards with your hand grip supporting you. Just make sure that you are using strong, sturdy doors. 

Door rows

Door rows for grip

Door rows are similar to door hangs. The only difference is that you are pulling your body, to and from the door in a rowing motion by flexing at the elbow. 

This puts extra strain on the wrist, especially if you use  a really slow movement. 

Newspaper twist

Newspaper twist for grip

The newspaper twist is a simple, easy way to improve your grip strength. All you need is a newspaper, magazine or anything else that you can roll up and twist. 

When performing this exercise, twist the paper as much as you can and hold it there for ten seconds before releasing it. Repeat this for a few reps until you can really feel it working your forearm muscles. 

Elastic band finger extension

Finger extensions for grip

This exercise is useful for improving finger strength for both pinching and finger extension movements. All you need is a few strong elastic bands placed around your fingers. 

This is an exercise that can be performed for long periods of time while sitting in front of your TV. You can also buy dedicated finger bands for this exercise by clicking this link.

Hand gripper exercise

The hand gripper is probably the best piece of equipment that you can buy for strengthening. your grip at home. They have come a long way in the last few years so that they are ergonomically comfortable to use and you can adjust the pressure required. 

The best option on the market at the moment is the FitBeast grip strengthener. You can view more details of the FitBeast by clicking on this link

Different grip strengths to consider

There are three different types of grips that you need to consider. Think about which ones are affecting your deadlift or day-to-day life and focus your exercises on improving them. 

Crush grip: This is your crushing strength. Essentially, how tight can you squeeze something and with how much power. Regular use of a stress ball will help you improve your crush grip.

Pinch grip: This is probably one of the least important unless you like to go around pinching people. This is the strength between your fingers when making a 'pinching' movement. 

Support grip: This one should be your main focus if you are looking to improve your grip for better exercise performance. A good support grip allows you to hold on to heavy things for longer. Essential for a good deadlift, pull-ups, or just carrying 12 bags of shopping from the car!

Does my grip need strengthening?

  • Unable to hang for more than a few seconds when performing pull-ups
  • Unable to keep hold of a heavy bar for shrugs and deadlifts
  • Cramping in your hands
  • Pain in the forearm
  • Writers cramp (or typists cramp if using a computer)
  • Struggling to carry shopping bags
  • Struggling to use hand tools like spades and rakes

If you suffer from any of the above, then you will benefit from strengthening your grip. You don't need to put yourself out too much. Just sit in front of the TV with a heavy stress ball or hand grip exerciser to start with.

The importance of good grip strength in life

Grip strength is important for functional activities such as opening a jar, carrying groceries, or using a hand tool.

It's also important for hobbies and sport activities such as swinging a golf club or tennis racket.

A weak grip can lead to frustration and decreased independence. Fortunately, grip strength can be improved.

The best way to improve grip strength is to perform some of the exercises listed in our guide that specifically target the forearm muscles involved in gripping.


There we have it. The importance of good grip strength for your deadlift and day-to-day life along with advice on how to improve it.

We hope that you have found this article useful and that you can conquer any grip strength issues that you may have.

Now that you are improving your grip for heavier lifts, check out our HyperStrength workout program for maximum strength gains in JUST 2 WEEKS! 

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