Does your grip sometimes fail once you get the bar over your knees for a deadlift? Grip strength is a critical component of deadlifting, and must be taken seriously. What follows are tips on how to improve it.

First, you can try a mixed grip, in which one palm is facing up and the other down—it doesn’t matter which one is up and down, although most people put their dominant hand facing up.

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To maximize your strength with this particular grip, curl the “up” palm up and twist the “down” palm down, like you’re revving a motorcycle. You should also train your grip during your workouts.

The best way to do this is to get a pair of Fat Gripz or Grip4orce, and add them to your accessory lifts—do your rows, pullups, and dumbbell presses with them. Your grip will be stronger in a few weeks.

— C.J. Murphy, C-I.S.S.N.

C.J. Murphy is a former competitive powerlifter and strongman, and the owner of Total Performance Sports in Everett, MA.