Thursday, December 29, 2011

Get A Grip!

How do you easily increase your strength while also taking the strain off of your shoulder and elbows when pressing or pulling? Get a better grip! A weak grip on the bar or handle is an energy leak, and can be the weak link that impairs stabilization. You need to be in control of the weight, and that starts with the contact between the weight and you. Here are some cues to developing a more solid grip, and therefore more control and stability with lifting.

1. Don't Use Gloves- Gloves mute the pressure-sensing ability of your hands. Your hands have an extremely high density of nerve fibers that give you important feedback. Gloves will prevent you from detecting a subtle loss of pressure on the bar. Don't worry, your hands will toughen up over time.

2. Use Chalk- Moisture serves as a lubricant, and in this case, that is not desireable. Chalk will absorb that moisture. Rechalk your hands with each set to ensure they stay moisture-free.

3. Know Where You Should Feel the Pressure On Your Hands- Use the 'heel' of your hand to press weight. The 'heel' is point on your palm that is the furthest distance from your finger tips. It is closest to the ulna, which is the larger of the two forearm bones.

Pull with the the bar closest to your thumb and first finger. These two digit should be wrapped around the bar or handle first, followed by the other three, weaker digits.

4. Crush the Handle/Bar- Squeeze handle/bar like your life depends on it! Then squeeze even harder during the next rep.

5. Regrip Often- Your grip muscles will likely fatigue quickly. Regrip the bar frequently to make sure you have a solid grip and feel the right amount of pressure in the right places.

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