Workout Tips

Relieve Your Joints and Bust Plateaus With Thick Grips

Gain painless power with our quick tips for big gains.

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fat grip

Sometimes the only reason you’re not setting a new record on a lift is because it hurts too damn much. The bench is like a meat grinder on your shoulders and elbows if your form isn’t strict and your training isn’t balanced, and even then, joint pain is sometimes inevitable.

If you can alleviate or prevent this problem, you can bench pain-free and safely for the long term, greatly increasing your chances of breaking personal records.

Thickening the bar you use may do the trick. Standard barbells are only an inch or slightly more in diameter, but adding rubber sleeves like Fat Gripz (shown below) or Grip4orce can increase the thickness to 2¼ inches, so your bar resembles the “fat bars” that powerlifters and strongmen use. This effectively spreads the weight of the bar to the wrists, elbows, and shoulders more evenly, so no one joint bears the brunt of it.

Less strain means safer benching, and no nagging aches that take your mind off training.

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