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How Good Can Your Grip Be Without Strong Forearms?


Jones1874

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Jones1874

just wondering if you can have good grip strength without having strong forearms?

i know that hand strength and forearm strength are different but both = grip strength.

i love training forearms and normally hit them directly x3-4 a week using a plate loaded gripper, reverse curls, hammer curls etc. after a few months i notice they bulk up well and i gain alot of grip endurance as well as a good amount of supporting grip, but i always seem to get problems with the ulnar nerve in my left elbow, which causes me to stop eventually.

i read that if ulnar nerve entrapment goes on for an extended period of time and left untreated it can cause irreversible muscle wasting in the hand which no grip enthusiast wants.

just looking for some feedback on what exercises i should perform instead? working the wrists and hands is fine, its just direct forearm work thats the problem.

when i look at someone like Bruce White who's forearms were roughly 11.5" or 11.75" it gives me hope. i know he deadlifted heavy and this will work the forearms, but they were still small for someone who could handle big weights.

starting to lose a bit of heart so any feedback would be much appreciated.

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Paul Savage

I've only spent a minute reading this so could be wrong but if your training grip machine, reverse curls and hammer curls 3-4 times a week you are doing far too much. This is like trying to run very fast until you are exausted without falling over. You will pick up injuries/wear and tear doing this and more than likely a lot of tendon pain at one time or another.

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Jones1874

I've only spent a minute reading this so could be wrong but if your training grip machine, reverse curls and hammer curls 3-4 times a week you are doing far too much. This is like trying to run very fast until you are exausted without falling over. You will pick up injuries/wear and tear doing this and more than likely a lot of tendon pain at one time or another.

my routine right now is:

6 sets of reverse curls

4 sets of high reps 20-40 on the grip machine failure

4 sets on the handheld wrist roller

bruce lee use to say you can train forearms everyday, i thought that was a bit much so i went with the day on-day off approach. my right arm is fine. just the left. my grip feels weak if i dont train forearms. it may sound like a lot but i have weak flexors which im trying to bring up, and i dont lift heavy enough in the week to have growth from indirect work.

not sure which way to go about it...

Edited by alexjones234
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PeterSweden

I wouldnt take advice from someone (bruce lee) whos forearms are no thicker than a "normal" forearm.

Take a look at Justin Straussner if you wanna see huge ass forearms :)

He is one bad dude!

I've been taught that when choosing exercises and training programs you must first identify your goal and then choose exercises accordingly.

What are your goals?

I also believe that what Paul is saying is true.

Sometimes less is more.

You have your whole life ahead of you, dont rush it and get injuries.

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mightyjoe

To answer your question without teaching an anatomy class, it depends.

Some flexors/extensors only cross the wrist joint. Others cross both the wrist and the fingers meaning

certain flexor/extensor groups must be strong for a strong grip while others would mean strong wrist flexion/extension but not a strong crushing grip.

Just some free advice that I've shared at least a million times it seems. You'll only get so far with

isolation movements! Add compound movements into your training and you'll get stronger all over!

Doing isolation movements don't elicit near the hormonal response (if any) like compound movements.

Want a strong grip without specializing? Start dead lifting my friend! Want bigger arms? Start squatting my friend!

Hope this helps!!!

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jvance

I would add some plate curls to the mix and do less of the reverse curls... Also mix in some sledgehammer work and try to hit all angles. Also use rubber bands for the finger extensors.

Balance... Key to keeping tendon pain down

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Jones1874

I wouldnt take advice from someone (bruce lee) whos forearms are no thicker than a "normal" forearm.

Take a look at Justin Straussner if you wanna see huge ass forearms :)

He is one bad dude!

I've been taught that when choosing exercises and training programs you must first identify your goal and then choose exercises accordingly.

What are your goals?

I also believe that what Paul is saying is true.

Sometimes less is more.

You have your whole life ahead of you, dont rush it and get injuries.

bruce lee was ahead of his time. i reckon if he wasnt in calorie deficit all the time then he probably would have had some good lower arms.

what does Justin do for his?

i dont feel like steel bending, pinch gripping or claw gripping does anything for my forearms or grip that much, my gripping muscles are weak and i dont feel like i can latch onto things properly. even a moderate weighted standard dumbbell. thickbar doesnt do anything for me either. i have 8" hands and i dont feel like i get anything from using fat gripz which are only 2.5"..

To answer your question without teaching an anatomy class, it depends.

Some flexors/extensors only cross the wrist joint. Others cross both the wrist and the fingers meaning

certain flexor/extensor groups must be strong for a strong grip while others would mean strong wrist flexion/extension but not a strong crushing grip.

Just some free advice that I've shared at least a million times it seems. You'll only get so far with

isolation movements! Add compound movements into your training and you'll get stronger all over!

Doing isolation movements don't elicit near the hormonal response (if any) like compound movements.

Want a strong grip without specializing? Start dead lifting my friend! Want bigger arms? Start squatting my friend!

Hope this helps!!!

i have no idea mucles or tendons cross what joints..

so when you say .."certain flexor/extensor groups must be strong for a strong grip while others would mean strong wrist flexion/extension but not a strong crushing grip."

which exercises would work best for me without irritating the problem? static holds, farmers walks? and the plate loaded grip machine?

I would add some plate curls to the mix and do less of the reverse curls... Also mix in some sledgehammer work and try to hit all angles. Also use rubber bands for the finger extensors.
Balance... Key to keeping tendon pain down

forgot to mention that ive been doing plate curls with a homemade ironmind stacker. thats about the only exercise ive stuck to consistently for the last 5-6 months. it hasnt caused me any injuries and i was making decent progress, starting to plateau lately so time to shock that area. itried levering for the first time properly the other day and i liked that. need to start doing more of that.

just to sum up my goals. im looking for the best way to go about getting a strong grip. im looking to build supporting grip, but always felt that bulking the forearms and building endurance in them was the best way to go about it?

any more feedback as far as exercise selection is concerned would be much appreciated.

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Paul Savage

Id stop doing any direct grip training for the time being and instead focus on the powerlifts plus overhead and rowing for 4-6 months while eating a lot and not using lifting straps too often.

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climber511

Id stop doing any direct grip training for the time being and instead focus on the powerlifts plus overhead and rowing for 4-6 months while eating a lot and not using lifting straps too often.

Exactly what I was thinking - gain 20# of good solid muscular weight all over and see what happens. Bet it does wonders for your grip as well.

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PeterSweden

bruce lee was ahead of his time. i reckon if he wasnt in calorie deficit all the time then he probably would have had some good lower arms.

what does Justin do for his?

i dont feel like steel bending, pinch gripping or claw gripping does anything for my forearms or grip that much, my gripping muscles are weak and i dont feel like i can latch onto things properly. even a moderate weighted standard dumbbell. thickbar doesnt do anything for me either. i have 8" hands and i dont feel like i get anything from using fat gripz which are only 2.5"..

Yeah, maybe :)

Justin does lots of stuff but I know that bending and sledge work has given him and many others bigger forearms. My forearms are 37centimeters when flexed cold. I dont know what that translates into inches but they've grown quite a bit :) Wristroller mounted in a rack makes it easier to roll bigger weights. Wristroller and sledges and some regular gym work once or twice a week maybe?

How do you meassure your hand? I'd like to meassure mine aswell :)

I cram into size 10 work gloves. 11 is more my size.

For gripping strength Daniel Reinard suggest;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5nUMiR-e2hE

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PeterSweden

I also believe in the other tips you've gotten. Bulk up, use compound movements, deads, skwat and bench etc. Get stronger and bigger. :)

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Jones1874

I also believe in the other tips you've gotten. Bulk up, use compound movements, deads, skwat and bench etc. Get stronger and bigger. :)

thanks for that link in the previous post. havent seen that before but i think it will suit me best. working on my flexors and building a good base is ideally what i need to do before moving onto more difficult grip exercises. i.e rolling thunder, anvil horn etc. which i would like to work on eventually.

i like the idea of going to failure on the bar followed by parallel sets using grippers. im going to use my plate loaded gripper instead just out of preference, but i will try both.

thanks to you and everyone for the input. much appreciated.

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truth1ness

I know reverse curls can be tough on my wrist and elbow joint I think because I'm a bit limited in how far I can pronate my arm. I've always felt it to be an awkward angle and it might be the culprit here. Maybe just try some iso holds for the reverse curl position for a while?

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Brett H

I wouldnt take advice from someone (bruce lee) whos forearms are no thicker than a "normal" forearm.

Take a look at Justin Straussner if you wanna see huge ass forearms :)

He is one bad dude!

I've been taught that when choosing exercises and training programs you must first identify your goal and then choose exercises accordingly.

What are your goals?

I also believe that what Paul is saying is true.

Sometimes less is more.

You have your whole life ahead of you, dont rush it and get injuries.

Bruce Lee was not at all the only person to say this. For a period of time it was conventional wisdom that forearms, calves and abdominals could be trained with very high frequency. Furthermore, I don't think you can compare a 5'8" 135 lb extremely small-boned guy's forearms to Justin who is obviously naturally much larger.

Edited by Brett H
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Mike Sharkey

Listen, all this is speculation. Your body is auto-regulatory. i.e. it knows better than ANYONE else what movements are good for it, what implements, what weight, what stance, what ROM, etc.. If you really want to improve, not just talk about improving, and I'm talking about in a complete systemic way: power, flexibility, strength, endurance, stability and mobility, I would seriously recommend checking out the bio-feedback based training protocol that Adam Glass has been able to understand and implement with obvious results (and by no means is he the only one - there are many of us that are making constant progress and surpassing what our 'natural genetics' have limited us too. That's not to say you are going to go out and do something incredibly difficult tomorrow, but the improvement is easy. Look at me, I'm 180# weakling who is now on the Red Nail Roster. Before the end of the year I will pull 300# on the axle and close the #3. Why? Because I listen to my body, test my movements and overall don't try too hard.

The only program you need to follow is your body's own biologic program.

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Jones1874

Just wanna say thanks again for all the feedback. Members on this board always go out of their way to help each individual, even if some of us ask too many questions as were a bit over enthusiastic..

Since my forearm flexors are weak, I'm going to stick to training them for some time and see how I come along. You can't train it all, and no one wants to be a jack of all trades and master of nothing. So I've finally set myself some goals.

I'm on a quest to improve my crushing grip along with my supporting grip. The plan is to work crushing grip once or twice a week, and work supporting x2-3 a week.

There's only one more thing I'd like to know, just to wrap up the thread.. what's the best way to use my plate loaded gripper to improve supporting strength? High weight for low reps, or moderate weight reps/holds, heavy holds?

Thanks again.

Edited by alexjones234
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PeterSweden

I wouldnt do it that often, maybe support once a week and grippers once a week. :)

Low rep 1-3 and heavier is what most ppl would recomend for strength on grippers.

Chez for example thinks that high rep on grippers are a waste of time. He told me so himself :P

I agree with you, members are very helpful!

GL HF!

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climber511

Don't take this the wrong way but you need to figure this stuff out for yourself. Your body is unique - nobody out there anywhere is going to respond to exercise exactly like you do. Others can tell you what works for them and you already know the basics from all your reading. Trying to train like someone else is going to be hit or miss at best - their strengths and weaknesses are different than yours and the way they recover etc is also. Buy yourself a notebook - keep detailed training notes - try plan A for 6 weeks or so - then plan B etc - then study your notes and you will begin to see patterns emerge as to progress, regression - soreness, injury, etc.. As long as you depend on others - you will never get where you want to go.

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Jones1874

I wouldnt do it that often, maybe support once a week and grippers once a week. :)

Low rep 1-3 and heavier is what most ppl would recomend for strength on grippers.

Chez for example thinks that high rep on grippers are a waste of time. He told me so himself :P

I agree with you, members are very helpful!

GL HF!

i see what your saying, but i think higher reps do have their place. i dont bother with high rep MM sets. but ill no-set close the gripper, reset, and go again, i think thats a bit more useful. but thats not really reps as such, more of a string of singles in a row.

Don't take this the wrong way but you need to figure this stuff out for yourself. Your body is unique - nobody out there anywhere is going to respond to exercise exactly like you do. Others can tell you what works for them and you already know the basics from all your reading. Trying to train like someone else is going to be hit or miss at best - their strengths and weaknesses are different than yours and the way they recover etc is also. Buy yourself a notebook - keep detailed training notes - try plan A for 6 weeks or so - then plan B etc - then study your notes and you will begin to see patterns emerge as to progress, regression - soreness, injury, etc.. As long as you depend on others - you will never get where you want to go.

fair point. just gonna have to listen to my body and go from there. theres nothing wrong with resting a day or two more if thats what your body is asking for. i do write things down to see the progress im making but i dont tend to do a short analysis and look over what has / hasnt been working.

ive had my 2.5 for ages now and its about time i closed it. i havent trained with grippers for some time so i want to get back into. i closed the #2 about a year ago and just left it at that due to overtraining them. the goal is to get the 2.5 and build up my supporting grip along the way. once im happy with my flexor strength and feel that my support strength is getting somewhere, i have a homemade rolling thunder which i recently rigged up, so ill start training with that more in the hope of being able to handle some heavy thick dumbbells.

Edited by alexjones234
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climber511

I don't know anyone who has trained the way you are training that has actually gone on to become what I would call advanced in any way. Maybe you'll be the first - I wish you luck. You can choose to do what you are doing or you can take the advice offered by many patient people who are trying to be helpful and simply lift some heavy weight and quit futzing around.

Sorry but you simply aren't listening.

Edited by climber511
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Mike Sharkey

Sorry but you simply aren't listening.

If I point out one corner of the square, and my student can't come back and point out the other three, I don't teach him anymore.

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Id stop doing any direct grip training for the time being and instead focus on the powerlifts plus overhead and rowing for 4-6 months while eating a lot and not using lifting straps too often.

This exactly.

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Josh O'Dell

when you train train hard, when you rest be patient and heal good. And i agree with the bulking and a big break from all the

grip stuff, no wonder your elbow hurts;/

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Autolupus

It's another case of what should I do, oh thanks but I think I'll do it like this because I think it's better. In a few more weeks you'll have another post questioning as to why he's not making gains in strength, he'll get good advice which he chooses to ignore and then accuses people who pull him up on this of bullying.

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Jones1874

I don't know anyone who has trained the way you are training that has actually gone on to become what I would call advanced in any way. Maybe you'll be the first - I wish you luck. You can choose to do what you are doing or you can take the advice offered by many patient people who are trying to be helpful and simply lift some heavy weight and quit futzing around.

Sorry but you simply aren't listening.

what part of my post said that i aint listening to anything? i said that im looking to get better at supporting grip strength, and NewGrippster and jvance are the only two thats given me a link and suggested some exercises i can do to improve.

everyone keeps saying to squat, deadlift and bench.. as far as im aware brookfield doesnt do any of those and he has some of the strongest hands in the world. i agree with the deadlift though. theres no point in being able to handle big weights if you cant pick them up. but hands come in useful in every day life.

ive chosen to go with improving supporting grip because im thinking of going back to BJJ.

Sorry but you simply aren't listening.

If I point out one corner of the square, and my student can't come back and point out the other three, I don't teach him anymore.

which part aint i listening to?

It's another case of what should I do, oh thanks but I think I'll do it like this because I think it's better. In a few more weeks you'll have another post questioning as to why he's not making gains in strength, he'll get good advice which he chooses to ignore and then accuses people who pull him up on this of bullying.

its not a case of "thanks, but no thanks", ive chosen to go with improving my support grip. the question of my thread still hasnt been answered.. ive only been told to back off and work on the squats, overhead, deadlift and bench. but since your aware of all my posts and all the advice i turn away.. you should have read that i suffered with a tricep injury about 4 years ago which didnt improve with rehab, it could be a tear, tendonosis, whatever, but the fact is i cant overhead press or bench heavy without the tricep giving in after 2 sets. so their out of the question. i dont think squats build a good grip - studys might have done saying they increase test and growth hormone, but studies have also been done which say bacon and sausage give you cancer..

and why aint brookfield doing his big lifts if their such test boosting lifts? the only way your getting extra test is if you do steroids. i remember going for a blood test at a time when i was benching, overhead pressing and squatting and the results came back average... one could argue that the big lifts fatigue the nervous system

and i havent accused anyone of bullying...... everyones just jumping on the bandwagon because climbers had a go..

Edited by alexjones234
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