When creating a program, individuals devote hour after hour to analyzing every aspect of their chest, back, and shoulder routines. No stone goes unturned as trainees methodically break down the how, when, and why of every angle. (Let’s not even go into the lack of leg training seen at the gym today, we’ll save that for another day). What I am here to address is the fact that many lifters don’t realize this is all for not without proper grip strength. Here are three keys benefits to improve grip strength.
Grip Strength Benefit #1: General Grip Strength
A lifter with inadequate grip strength is going to suffer in many of the major lifts. The deadlift, pull up, clean…essentially any pulling movement is going to fall short with a weak grip. How many times have you missed a pull-up rep not because of a lack of lat strength, but because your grip strength gave out? A lifter with a strong grip is capable of lifting heavier weights, especially in the major pulling movements.
Grip Strength Benefit #2: Muscle Endurance
Imagine a rock climber ascending a formation. He’s continually manipulating his body weight as he reaches for the summit, sometimes spending hours on the mountain…literally putting his life in his own hands. Increasing strength in the hands and lower arms will increase upper body endurance, allowing you to perform more repetitions, and reach new heights.
Grip Strength Benefit #3: Injury Recovery
Strengthening muscles and connective tissues will also help prevent injury. When you grip a significant load in the gym, the brain sends signals to the rest of your body to essential brace for impact. A strong grip puts the body on red alert to avoid injury. If you do suffer an injury, stronger tissue recovers faster. Increasing the strength of your hands and forearms will increase your grip strength, which will in turn carry over to increased strength, endurance, and injury resilience.
Embrace the Steel Mace
The Steel Mace is an exceptional implement in training grip strength due to the lack of counterbalance. Using the steel mace requires a lifter to use gravity while simultaneously fighting against it. This disproportionate weight displacement increases the difficulty of normal movements, stressing all sixty-nine muscles in the hand and forearms―giving you a grip worthy of Mjolnir!
Steel Mace Grip Strength Workout
The following Steel Mace workout not only increases your grip strength, but hits your shoulders, arms, and core. If the mace is too heavy during one of the movements, choke up on the handle. If, however, you’re looking for a challenge, move your hands down to the bottom of the handle. Perform the movements in sequence, resting thirty seconds between each movement or movement pair. After the last movement, rest for sixty seconds. Perform the circuit five times.
A1: Steel Mace Pendulums – 5 rounds x 10 reps(each side)
A2: Steel Mace Wrist Rollers – 5 rounds x 10 reps(each side)
A3: Steel Mace Single Arm Pendulum – 5 rounds x 10 reps(each side)
A4: Steel Mace Spanning the Globe – 5 rounds x 5 reps(up and down)
A5: Steel Mace Single Arm Pike – 5 rounds x 10 reps(each side)
A6: Steel Mace Raise The Flag – 5 rounds x 5 reps(up and down)
A7: Steel Mace Single Arm Static Holds – 5 rounds x 30 sec(each side)