Does Grip Strength Help Bench Press & Pullups?

I received an email from one of our readers named Scotty, he is in high school and an avid fitness enthusiast, he asked: “I would like to know about the importance of grip strength and whether it can really help in improving the PR in the bench press, deadlift and pull-ups”. 

Although it might sound like an extreme exaggeration of the importance of grip strength, it is true. Your grip strength plays an important role in the amount of weight you can lift.  

Your grip is one of the most potent neurological stabilizers in the human body which can increase your strength by increasing muscle activation and increasing the recruitment of muscle fibers. 

Being able to recruit more muscle fibers will ultimately improve your ability to lift heavier weights.

Do you need to train your forearm?

Many trainers and fitness enthusiasts believe that there is no need to train forearms and grip strength because they will automatically develop stronger while heavy compound lifts (bench press, deadlifts, shoulder press, pullups, etc).

But the fact is, not everyone is genetically gifted with strong forearms and grip strength, if you see your grip strength is lagging behind then you have sufficient reason to dedicate 15 minutes to grip strengthening. 

There are 18 muscles in the forearm and another 17 muscles in the palm of your hand which makes the grip training more complicated than we usually think.

Benefits of stronger grip strength

There are multiple benefits of stronger grip strength, let’s go through them one by one.

  • A strong grip will allow a firm handshake. Good handshake radiates confidence, strength, and masculinity. 
  • Visible increase in lifting power: because of better muscle activation and superior recruitment of muscle fibers. 
  • Keeps you combat ready: whether you need to throw stronger punches or grapple somebody, a stronger grip is an asset. 
  • Increased dexterity: it is your hands ability to perform tasks that requires hand stability and accuracy. 
  • Stay injury resilient: weak wrist leads to injuries of multiple types, training that grip strength will help in dodging probable injuries. 

5 tips to achieve stronger grip strength

1- Train pinch grips

There are three types of grips:

Supportive grip: it’s used to complete daily tasks like picking any objects or pulling movements. 

Crushing grip: crushing grip involves four fingers to do the crushing work. 

Pinch grip: Pinch grip involves the utilization of the thumb and fingers to achieve maximum muscle activation. 

Training your pinch grip is a great way to strengthen your forearms and grip strength. Many world-class power athletes were found to train pinch grip to gain enormous gripping strength. 

You can train your pinch grip by using “Pinch Blocks”, Cannon Ball grips, Pinch Grip Farmer’s Carry, and Rogue BRANCH & BEAM. 

2- Buy a hand gripper

Hand grippers work great to improve the strength of your crushing grip. The crushing mechanism of hand grippers helps in improving grip strength + adding size to your forearms. 

Additionally, hand grippers are affordable. 

3- Try rock climbing

Rock climbing is one of the best ways to improve grip strength. Rock climbing not only improves strength but also works on grip endurance. 

If you are concerned about the insufficient strength for rock climbing, go through “how to train your climbing power”.

4- Farmers walks

Farmer’s walk is one of the best exercises you can do to improve your gripping strength. 

Farmer’s walk will help in developing extraordinary core and upper body strength while simultaneously working on grip strength. 

Farmers walk include carrying heavyweight in body hands and then walking for a distance. 

5- Stop using gym gloves and straps

Using gym gloves and lifting straps is a big mistake that might be restricting the proper development of your forearms and grip strength. 

Try training with bare hands, it will force your forearms and grip to develop into a stronger version of themselves. 

Training without gloves or straps might make you uncomfortable but it will be beneficial in the long term.


Hey guys thanks for reading, let us know your thoughts on the article. Questions are welcomed in the comments as always.

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By Harsh Chauhan

Hi there, I'm Harsh, personal trainer and chief editor at Alphamale.co. I started this blog with the intention to tap on every question that has been unanswered for many years. With an experience of more than a decade, my goal is to transform the lives of millions of our readers by offering authentic fitness knowledge.

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