Develop the grip strength and endurance of a Ninja Warrior

As CrossFitters, our grip is all important.  Our grip is what connects us (our bodies) to other apparatus – rings, kettlebells, bars, ropes.  It is a cruel twist of fate then that it is our grip that is often the weakest link in the chain and fails us when we need it most.  When you are doing pull-ups, the big muscles in the back, as well as the muscles controlling explosive hip flexion if you are kipping, can keep working a lot longer than our grip (muscles in the hands and forearms) will allow.  The same applies when we are doing a high volume of hang cleans in a WOD – it is the grip that gives way.

So how can we develop good grip strength and stamina without taxing the body too much?  Here’s a few suggestions.  Play around with them before or after a session, or on your days off.

  1. Hang from the rig –   Try 30 secs first. Keep adding more time until you can hang for a few minutes without any dramas. To make it more challenging, try hanging with one arm.
  2. Farmers Carries – Grab a pair of kettlebells and either go for a walk or just stand in the one spot. See how long you can hold them for.  Increase the challenge by going heavier or holding them for longer.
  3. Towel Pull-ups – Throw a beach towel over the pull-up bar.  Grab either end of it and try to do some pull-ups.  These are really difficult because the hanging nature of the towel is vertical (as opposed to horizontal like a bar) which means you have to fight against gravity and not slip, and also the thickness of the towel and its lack of rigidity really makes you work hard to hang on. Actually even just doing a hang from the towel will do wonders for your grip strength
  4. Uneven Bomb Holds – We have just recently added a couple of bomb holds in the Box.  Bombs are a Climbing/Ninja apparatus that are small, odd shaped objects which you hold onto and use to support your bodyweight as you transition from one place to another. The odd shapes mean you grip them differently which works the muscles in your hands and forearms ion a different way than what you would just using a bar.  Our bombs are a little crude (knots ties in rope and wrapped in gaffer tape) but very effective nonetheless.  They are hanging from the monkey bars.  Have a go.

Good luck.  Make these exercises a regular practice and you will have a vice-like grip in no time.




In pairs, perform 3 rounds of:                                       

Accumulate a 3 min Deadhang (only one person hangs a at time)

1000m Row                      

40 Burpees to plate 20/10kg                                    

40 OH Lunges 20/10k



About AB

Crossfit Coach

Posted on December 17, 2016, in WOD and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on 4 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR GRIP STRENGTH AND ENDURANCE.

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