The Best Health and Fitness Articles of the Week #82 – Improve Your Grip Strength, Healthy Vegan Recipes and OLY Shoes

image courtesy of crossfitkelowna

Here’s a recap of the best health and fitness articles I’ve read over the past week.

Improve Your Grip Strength

Just like this article says, grip strength is important for plenty of reasons, most importantly being able to lift more weight on exercises like deadlifts and barbell rows. There are some cool and interesting exercises here to help you increase your grip strength.

What Drinking Coffee Does to You

There are some excellent pros to consuming coffee, but drinking coffee also comes with some drawbacks if you drink too much. If you limit your intake to around 2 cups per day and if you drink high quality coffee, you have nothing to worry about.

A Guide to Eating a Plant-Based Diet

This article goes into the many reasons why eating a plant-based diet is important and how to transition into a vegan diet. There’s also a good list of foods that you can eat that are easy when starting out. This guide goes through just about everything a beginner vegan might be wondering.

Looking for Healthy Vegan Recipes?

When people are considering going vegan, they are always worried that they won’t be able to eat tasty meals anymore, but here’s a short list of recipes that are easy, tasty and healthy – Tortilla soup, fruit salad and apple crisp.

Seriously. Do This Yesterday. One of My All Time Shoulder Fixes

I bet it’s scary being friends with this guy. You never know what kind of painful situation you’re going to be in when he’s around. 😉

Using Coffee Enemas For Liver Detoxification

I always hear conflicting advice about coffee enemas, which is probably why I’m too afraid to try one myself, but this article does make it sound enticing. The author of this post also recorded a very informative video of the entire process.

How To Meditate – 3 Simple Techniques

Slowly but surely I’m learning more about meditation. I know it’s beneficial and I really want to do it, but life is so hectic that I find it hard to make time. This article talk about exactly that too – “if you’re too busy to meditate, you’re too busy!” I think what I need to do is set a schedule. Maybe just a few minutes after work everyday.

7 Home Remedies to Combat the Side Effects of Chemo

I hope that my healthy dietary and exercise habits are enough to prevent getting cancer later in life, but if not, at least I can refer back to this article if I ever have to go through chemo. I’ve seen the effects of chemo in my family and it’s not pretty.

First OLY shoe.. Recommendations?

I workout at home, so I lift completely barefoot. I like the idea of lifting barefoot more than lifting in shoes, but maybe I’m short-changing myself by not using weightlifting shoes. I’d really like to try a pair out to see how they feel.

Outdoor Home Rope Climb Post

There’s no way in hell my HOA would allow me to build this in my backyard, but I would in a heart beat if I could. I might see if my brother is willing to build it in his yard so that I can use it. This is awesome!

Train Like A Man, Look Like A Goddess

Ladies, do you need more proof that lifting weights won’t make you bulk up and look like a man? Here ya go! 😉

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.