Exercises for Better Grip & Shoulder Strength
Marc Lavallee is a tactical fitness coach with experience training Canadian military units in the Search and Rescue Technician (SAR-Tech) program. He currently coaches for a policing agency. In this blog, Marc shares his go-to exercises for steady shoulders and a strong, secure grip.
Change the Way You Train
Don’t Let Grip Strength Hold You Back
Police members go through yearly shooting qualifications and recertifications. Some of these tasks require rapidly emptying multiple mags as quickly as possible, and if you’ve ever done this before, you know the forearm pump comes super quick if you’re not conditioned for it.
Shooting with a massive muscle pump in your forearm affects shooting accuracy and, ultimately, the ability of police members to pass recertifications.
That being said, I’m very experienced in working with athletes to improve their grip strength and endurance. I found the easier and most effective way to a stronger grip is with a simple tri-set of carries.
Keep It Simple, Stupid
A quick Google search gives you a big list of exercises for grip and shoulder strength – barbell wrist curls, barbell wrist extensions, and Turkish get-ups to name a few. While these movements are great, they’re not always the most efficient and effective tools for busy athletes crunched for time.
When it comes to increasing grip strength, I prefer KISS: Keep it simple, stupid.
Use exercises like deadlifts, rows, pull-ups/chin-ups, dead hangs, and carries with kettlebells or dumbbells. These are far more efficient at increasing grip strength since you’re able to use much heavier loads that challenge your grip.
Tri-Set of Carries: The Strong Grip Go-To
Use what you have access to at your facility, whether it’s kettlebells or dumbbells. I recommend going about 25 yards (there and back) before switching the carry.
1. Overhead double KB/DB Carry
2. Rack position double KB/DB Carry
3. Double KB/DB Farmers carry
If your gym facility lacks space, do these carries for time, holding each carry for 30 seconds.
This simple tri-set doesn’t take long, but it does pack a powerful punch in the grip and shoulder department. Tack it on as accessory work at the end of a workout and see how much stronger and able-bodied a better grip can make you feel.
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