Sunday Sweat Talk {Grip Strength & Ankle Update}

Hello! I’m posting today’s Sunday Sweat Talk a little later than usual because I’ve been at the Burns With Kearns MMA Fitness Trainer certification all weekend. So this is more of a dinner date than a coffee date, I suppose. Today I have a couple of things on my mind. Let’s chat!

Sunday Sweat Talk

Let’s talk about…

Grip strength

Last weekend I was feeling good about my deadlifts during my lower body workout until I tried to increase my weight. I started getting in my head about my grip because I felt like my strength wasn’t ready to give out yet, but my grip was. I wanted to keep going, but I felt like the bar was going to roll right out of my hands. I haven’t paid attention to forearm or grip strength in the past, but now I’m looking for some advice. Based on what I found in Tony Gentilcore’s blog, I’m thinking about adding some farmer carries and dumbbell holds to my strength routines, but does anyone have any other tips for me to help increase my grip strength? Things to keep in mind, exercises to help, or resources I can read? I definitely don’t want to plateau with my deadlift (and I’m assuming eventually with my chin-up work too) because of lack of grip strength.

Let’s talk about…

My sprained ankle

I’ve mentioned my recent ankle injury a few times on the blog now, but I don’t think I ever really explained what happened to you guys. Basically I was subbing for a really crowded class. Everyone was really high energy, and although I was only teaching and not doing the workout with the class, I was still demonstrating some moves full-out. I was demonstrating turning high knees into heismans when I lost sight of my spatial awareness, my left foot landed on the dumbbell next to me, and I rolled my ankle. I felt it tweak, but walked it off fine, and I didn’t really think much about it. I iced when I got home and over the next few days, but then after about a week it was still bothering me. Something just didn’t feel right, you know?

Sprained Ankle

After a week, I went to my primary care physician’s walk in clinic to get the useless preliminary check-up done and x-rays taken. My X-rays looked fine, but after a week of modifying (no jumping or running), my ankle was still bothering me so I went to see my orthopedic. If anyone needs an orthopedic recommendation, I highly suggest Dr. Jessica Flynn with Lahey Clinic. She is way more empathetic and willing to work with me than any primary care doc has ever been. She confirmed that it is just a minor sprain (no stress fracture like I was fearing), and she sent me on my way with an ASO athletic ankle brace. She said I could continue exercising (PHEW!), but recommended wearing the brace during exercise to help stabilize my foot and prevent any re-tearing or overstretching of ligaments.

ASO Ankle Brace

It’s pretty fancy, huh? I wore the brace all weekend at the certification, and the compression is really helping me. I’m still taking it easy on impact stuff for the next few weeks, but at least I can still exercise. I’m still taking Aleve, icing, elevating, and wearing sneakers as much as possible too. Thanks to those of you who have reached out asking how I’m doing!

Let’s talk about…

My weekly workout log

Last week’s workouts looked like this:

Chest and back strength supersets with spin bike Tabata bursts in between

Barbell Row

30 minutes on the spin bike + weight room ab circuit. I replaced the cable twists with oblique drops with a 25 pound plate and could really feel my obliques the next day.

Own workout = biceps and triceps supersets with a 5 minute spin sprint finisher. Teaching workout = a cluster of across the floor and partner work

Partner Class


Taught my class with three mini circuits. No crazy format on Thursday (2 compound exercises + a core focus in each mini circuit), but I tried to use a lot of new moves! My hamstrings were crazy sore on Friday from this workout.


MMA Fighter Fit cert, day 1

MMA Fighter Fit Certification

And here’s what’s on tap for this week:

  • Sunday: MMA Fighter Fit cert, day 2
  • Monday: Spin or row and core
  • Tuesday: Two A Day is Valentine’s themed this week! Wear your pink and red to class, and get ready to LOVE every second of it. I’m still debating what to teach.
  • Wednesday: Off
  • Thursday: Teaching my morning class — also Valentine’s Day themed
  • Friday: Off or an at home workout with one of my new fitness toys
  • Saturday: Morning lift with Tim

Time to talk! What do you recommend for grip strength work? Any tips for sprained ankles or other sprained ankle stories to share? How did last week’s workouts go — anyone try anything new or reach a fitness goal? What’s on tap for this week?

Have a relaxing rest of your night!

17 thoughts on “Sunday Sweat Talk {Grip Strength & Ankle Update}

  1. In Crossfit we use a reverse grip on one hand when deadlifting . My right hand has a regular grip and the left hand is backwards- palm facing away from me- this allows me to do more deadlifts that with a regular grip alone. We also use the “hook grip” to help minimize grip failure in a workout.


  2. I had the same problem with my grip always giving out before my actual muscles. Having the right grip can really make a difference. With deads, I was given a cue that has really helped me with grip. First of all, try a mix grip with your heavy set (one over, one under). Then, here’s the tip – put the bar more in your finger tips because when you pull the weight, the bar is going to naturally roll forward into them anyways, so to prevent that “slip” feeling, but start there. I make sure my mixed grip is set so that when the bar does it’s natural roll, my forearms lock out and everything is aligned. It’s kind of weird to explain, but if you can get the whole finger thing, then that helps a lot. With bench press, the grip should be in your palm. Think about gripping the bar as tight as possible and then wrap your fingers around it and squeeze hard. This will also help build your grip the more you do it. Hope it helps! I know it’s certainly helped me!


  3. Ohh If you find anything about grips, PLEASE post about it! That is my MAIN issue that holds me back from increasing my weights on deadlifts, rows, and even skull crushers for my triceps. My forearms always give out WAY before the actual muscle! If you find something that works, help a girl out! 🙂


  4. My ankle story is long so I’ll try to shorten it up! About 3 years ago while running to try to catch my dog from being sprayed by a mommy skunk and about 10 of her babies coming straight at us I ran right off of about a 4 foot high wall onto my brick patio in the back yard. Thought for sure it was broke by the way I came down side ways on it and by the way it tripled up in a heart beat, and oh by the pain! After emergency room visit it was a VERY VERY bad sprain. Totally off of it and on crutches for a week. Took a loooong time to heal. That is the key there Athena…………time to heal! Easier said than done from one fitness professional to another! Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation. Now, that’s gonna be hard with that new toy you showed on your facebook! :0)


  5. So I don’t know much about grip strength, but my dad travels a lot for work and is constantly in his car. He keeps a hand grip in his glove box and strengthens one hand at a time (obviously, lol) while driving. I’m not sure which one he has, but I found this one on Amazon:

    Not sure if that helps, but maybe an option? You could keep it in your desk at work!


  6. Pingback: Sunday Sweat Talk {Strength Training Plateaus} | Fitness & Feta

  7. Pingback: New Balance Fresh Foam 980 {Double Sneaker Giveaway} | Fitness & Feta

  8. Pingback: Sunday Sweat Talk {Why I Love My Gym Friends} | Fitness & Feta

  9. Pingback: Life Lately {February 2014} | Fitness & Feta

  10. Pingback: Sunday Sweat Talk {Exercising While Sick} | Fitness & Feta

  11. Pingback: Sunday Sweat Talk {Next Fitness Star: Power Sculpt Series} | Fitness & Feta

  12. Pingback: Sunday Sweat Talk {Deload Weeks} | Fitness & Feta

  13. Pingback: Sunday Sweat Talk {Unstable Surface Training} | Fitness & Feta

  14. Pingback: Sunday Sweat Talk {Four Month Lifting Update} | Fitness & Feta

  15. Pingback: Sunday Sweat Talk {Training For Life} | Fitness & Feta

  16. Pingback: 2014: Best of F&F | Fitness & Feta

I'd love to hear from you! Leave a comment.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s