Eli5: How do weightlifters’ hands keep up with the increased burden when there’s almost no muscle in them?

24 views

Eli5: How do weightlifters’ hands keep up with the increased burden when there’s almost no muscle in them?

In: 0

This is actually a common misconception! Fingers are actually some of the strongest muscles in the human body!

There’s a lot of muscle in hands. Tendon and ligament strength also play a big role. Grit should not be undervalued either.

Wrist straps.

I rock climb but this crosses over into hand strength for weight lifting.

Grip strength comes from forearm muscle strength and hand connective tissue strength. In rock climbing, you should wait for two years before hangboarding (finger strengthening exercises) because the tendons/connective tissue gets stronger slowly. Your forearms can become so strong they pull the connective tissue in your hands apart. Even after that they regularly suffer finger injuries so you have to scale back at the first signs of injury or risk severe injuries that require surgery to fix.

Grip strength is largely to do with musculature in the forearms.

To increase friction and grip, lifters of all competitive types will use chalk to aid the bar from slipping.

To add to this, weightlifters (as in those who do the sport of weightlifting as seen in the Olympics) will use whats called the hook grip to ensure that they can grip the most amount of weight in that double overhand grip. This entails having the thumb in between the bar and the remaining fingers, which acts as a kind of grippy wedge or anchor.

What makes you think there’s no muscle in fingers/hands?

Part of training to lift weights is that your hands/grip becomes stronger. And a lot of weight lifters specifically train for grip strength so that they can lift heavier weights.