Hand Grips - How to Grip Weight Training Bar Correctly

Correct bar gripping not only helps stabilize the weights and lift more, correct gripping and stable grip width helps balance weights and prevents injury which may be caused by poor gripping.

Although there are more than 5 ways you can grip a weight training bar, 2 are very important for beginners. Advanced trainers who want to add variety can try the advanced grips I mention here.

1. Overhand grip -

It is a common wherein your hands are placed on the bar such that your palms face downwards and your knuckles are up. For exercises like shoulder press and chest press we use overhand grips.

2. Underhand Grip -

This is the exact of overhand grip and here your palms face upwards and your knuckles are down. For example in biceps curl you use an underhand grip usually. In Hammer curls for biceps you try variations as mentioned below.

3. Alternated Grip -

Ever seen someone do a dead lift? Most people use an alternated grip wherein you place one hand in an underhand fashion and the other in an overhand fashion. This helps lift more weight and makes the lift more stable.

4. Neutral Grip -

Here your hands are placed in a neutral position just like in hammer curls.

Another point to remember is to always close your grip by winding your thumbs around the bar so that the weight is more in control. But in exercises likesquats I have found its best to place thumbs over the bars.

What to avoid -

1. Open Grip

Avoid open grips wherein your thumb is free and doesn't wind around the bar as the bar can slip and cause an injury.

2. Avoid uncentered placement on the bar as it leads to asymmetrically loading. Always make sure that you have placed hands at equal distance from the knurling on the bar.

3. Avoid overly broad grip wherein the hands are too close to the weight plates. Its unnecessary.

A typical example is the shoulder press wherein you hold the bar with an overhand grip , hands placed shoulder width apart and press in an overhead fashion.

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