barbell holds

Barbell Holds & Exercises

As our previous barbell holds & exercises blog has been lost in time. We have decided to re write it a short post once again revealing the secrets of the barbell hold.

free grip training guide

Barbell Holds

A really simple exercise to perform that will give you great results is the barbell hold. For this exercise ideally you will have access to a barbell and rack to rest the bar on in between sets.

barbell hold

You want to start off by setting the rack height to just below your hips, unless you have giant ape arms, then just have it a couple of inches below the tips of your fingers.

Using overhand grip you want to grab the bar, preferably using the same grip you would for deadlifts, or just outside of the hips.

Bend down and pick up the barbell lifting the weight off the rack, you want to keep your back tight and hands closed!

barbell holds

Holding the weight for as long as possible you want to hold the barbell tight. When you are managing above 30 seconds you'll want to go ahead and increase the weight.


The main areas trained by this exercise are the forearms, and your crush / support grip.

You will also be training your shoulders / traps as they will be helping to stabilize the weight.

Training this exercise once a week will really give you great improvements on you grip strength and forearm musculature. When you start to feel yourself shaking and arms burning, that's when you know its working!


Mixed Grip

You can also perform this exercise overhand / underhand if you are looking to train your grip for a competition that does not allow straps.

mixed grip barbell hold

Make sure to keep your triceps tight preventing any bicep injuries.

Suitcase Deadlift Hold

Probably a variation of the barbell hold you haven't heard of. Similar to the regular barbell hold but with one hand. Stand to the side of the bar and pick it up as you would a suitcase.

This is great for training each hand specifically.

suitcase deadlift

The same rules apply for this lift, keep your back tight and hand shut! You may feel more benefit on your forearms during this lift as the muscles in the arm will be working overtime to stabilize the barbell.

If you don't have access to a barbell you can perform this exercise with a heavy dumbbell, it won't be as effective but you have to work with what you've got!

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