When lifting weights, even the smallest adjustments to your wrist position can have a significant impact on your muscles. According to Natalie Wolfe, NASM, CPT, “It is frequently overlooked how a simple change in hand placement can make a difference in muscular results.”
“Simply adjusting your hand/wrist position when lifting weights is a very effective method for training the targeted muscles from different angles, and placing new and different stresses on the body,” says one expert. This may be done without changing the activity itself. (Which is necessary to advance the development of your muscles.
The outcome? Your muscles become stronger from all sides, enhancing your endurance, power, and physical development.
Now that you are aware of how crucial it is to alter your hand position when lifting, let’s examine the most typical grips.
“Serious exercisers should think about training with grip variations like the pronated, supinated, mixed, neutral, and hook grips.” Wolfe says.
When trying to change things up in the gym, these changes can really make a difference.
When executing a resistance workout, adopt a pronated grip (sometimes referred to as an overhand grip) by turning your palms away from you. frequently used for squats, deadlifts, bench presses, pull-ups, and bicep curls.
The supinated grip, sometimes referred to as an underhand grip, is when your palms are pointing up or in your direction. frequently applied to exercises like the chin-up and reverse row. Knuckles pointed away and palms facing you.
Supinated and pronated grip postures are combined to create a mixed grip.
A grip that is neither supinated nor pronated and has the palms facing each other, as in the Hammer Curl exercise, is referred to as a neutral grip.
The hook grip is a way to hold a barbell that involves crossing the index and middle fingers over the thumb. Used frequently in sports involving strength, like CrossFit, Powerlifting, and Olympic weightlifting.
HOW GRIP VARIATIONS CHALLENGE YOUR MUSCLES
Small hand placement tweaks call for big effects.
The bench press produces the best benefits, hitting your pecs while also exercising your triceps, according to Wolfe. Most lifters hold their hands on the barbell slightly wider than shoulder-width. You can put even more strain on your pecs by spreading your hands a little wider, which will work your muscles from a different ‘angle’ and further. Moving your hands closer together, on the other hand, will have the reverse effect, putting more of a strain on your triceps while giving your pecs a supporting role.
Pulling Exercises: According to Wolfe, altering your grip breadth when performing stretches like rows and pullups has a comparable impact on the muscles. While employing a narrow grip makes your lats and biceps work harder, going wide concentrates more on your rear deltas and upper back muscles, such as your traps and rhomboids. There are so many back muscles, she claims, that simply switching your grip from a pronated to a supinated position can alter the targeted muscle.
Exercises for the biceps: A bicep curl is often performed with a supinated grip, which means that your palms are facing inward. “The hands are in a pronated grip for the reverse curl, which means your palms are turned outward. Changing your grip to palms down will focus more on your forearms and grip strength than a typical curl, according to Wolfe, causing further muscular improvements.
According to Wolfe, “your grip can also be put in a neutral position when training biceps,” and the Hammer Curl is an example of a neutral grip exercise because it primarily stresses the forearm. These are only a few examples of what can happen when you change your grip during particular workouts, and Wolfe encourages you to experiment with it sometimes. By doing this, she claims, “many more exercises and body parts can be manipulated.”
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU SWITCH YOUR GRIP/WRIST POSITION?
Wolfe emphasizes that adjusting your grip position is one small adjustment you may utilize to get past a plateau when your training routine has grown old and your results have slowed. Even if hypertrophy is your goal, you don’t always need to switch up your grip position throughout exercises, she advises. “Progressive overload and time under tension are still the cornerstones of muscle growth; changing your grip can help you advance when you hit that wall in a particular exercise.”
WOLFE’S TIPS TO ENSURE WRIST AND GRIP HEALTH
Stretching your wrists once a week and including a few grip-strengthening exercises in your mobility routine will help you maintain the health of your wrist and grip.
Wrist Straps: Wrist wraps will give extra support and prevent wear and tear over time when performing harder motions like bench pressing, bicep curls, shoulder presses, etc.
Listen to your body when it comes to exercising; you know when you need to take a break. Take some time to rest and stretch if your discomfort is more severe than usual soreness.