Strength And Conditioning, Weightlifting
Maximizing Grip Strength in Weightlifting: Essential Techniques and Practices
I recently checked through my list of blog articles, searched for this topic, and couldn’t find a single entry. It seems like a good time to address this oftentimes consequential issue.
I also don’t see this topic coming up very often in forums and websites. However, I see lifts (mostly snatches) being missed due to grip issues.
Because of the grip width employed by most lifters, meaningful pressure can only be applied by the thumb, index, and middle fingers in the performance of the snatch. In the clean, most lifters can get four fingers and the thumb around the bar, ensuring a more secure grip.
Hand size is also a factor. The most notable example of this problem was Mohammed Nassiri of Iran, the 56 kg gold medalist at the 1968 Olympics. He was tremendously strong but failed to keep up with his competitors in the snatch because of his hand size.
There is no special exercise to improve grip strength in this context. There is, however, a situation that should be minimized or avoided.
The best way to improve grip strength is to perform snatches, power snatches, cleans, and power cleans from the hang. The hang position can be below the knees, at the knees, or at power position.
The key is not to lower the bar to the platform between reps. This will improve grip strength.
Furthermore, too many people are guilty of strap abuse, a practice to be avoided. Some trainees will use straps for all lifts. They will often drop the weight between reps and then re-set the straps. All this time wasting is not conducive to developing grip strength.
So, in summary, perform all your hang snatches and hang cleans without straps, and do not lower the bar to the platform between reps. This will do the most for developing a powerful grip.