How to Increase Your Grip Strength During Deadlifts

Friday morning I was doing deadlifts and I was really struggling with my grip. I never realized how weak my grip was until now, so I decided to do a little research over the weekend for some self-help advice. Turns out, I didn’t have to do any research because the perfect article came to me in my RSS reader.

7 Ways to Build Massive Grip Strength for Deadlifts

There are some awesome tips here. Some key take-aways I got from it are:

  • Grip the bar as hard as you can (white knuckling)
  • Use mixed-grip (one hand facing in, one facing out) only on heavy working sets
  • Hold the weight for 5-10 seconds after finishing reps
  • Using straps all the time will leave your grip weak

I never thought about holding the weight at the top of the deadlift to build more grip strength, but it makes a lot of sense. I also use mixed-grip and/or straps for almost all deadlift sets, no matter how light the weight is, so I’ll be stopping that right away.

Deadlifts have always been one of my weaknesses so I think it’s finally time I start working on it.

Different Deadlift Positions

Kyran of also reached out to me with some tips that I wanted to share.

When deadlifting there are a couple of different positions where your hands can be placed on the bar.

First, the regular deadlift position with your hands just outside of your knees.

Second, the sumo deadlift position. In this setup, your feet are a little wider and you grip the bar inside of your knees with your hands about a foot apart. The mixed-grip works well to increase grip strength.

Third, the snatch grip deadlift position. This requires your hands to be a lot wider and you should usually aim to have your index fingers on the guide rings of the barbell.

Some of these deadlift variations are easier to grip the bar and require less grip strength. Depending on which variation you are working on, you may need to put more or less attention on building your grip strength.