Plate Pinchers

By: Gavin Hemmerlein

This installment is more of a protocol than an actual exercise because there are so many different ways to implement this. Plate Pinchers are a fantastic way to increase grip strength; which is a common failure point for athletes. Ever try to deadlift and have the bar slip out of your hand halfway up? Then couple these with static holds to develop out of this world grip strength!

The move is simple. Take two plates, starting light at first, and hold them in the air by pinching them together. The friction of the plates against each other will keep the plate firmly in your hand. Hold this for as long as you possibly can. Rinse and repeat. Each time will most likely be shorter than the previous due to muscular fatigue. When this becomes easy (or you’re holding the plates for way too long), up the weight! Check it out:

One way that I love to teach these is a T-Bar Row variation. Instead of using only your hands, you place the weights on one side of a barbell and row the bar into the chest. This is a more advanced technique, but the additional movement should increase the grip test even more!

Without a great level of grip strength, you’ll either resort to accessories (straps) or be limited in your big movers fairly quickly. This focus will be invaluable as you progress on your fitness journey.