Thursday, December 15, 2011

Workout Grips: Part 2 by Frank Zane

Avoid an underhand grip that extends too far and locks your hand position as this could lead to injury of the inner elbow and the lower biceps. Barbell curls and bent over rowing with a reverse grip are the exercises that could lead to these injuries. Use dumbbells curls instead. The famous Dorian Yates can attest to this.

The mixed grip (palms facing opposite directions) is mostly used by power lifters because it allows them to lift more. Unfortunately it can be devastating as many of them will attest. I highly advise you to never use the mixed grip.

No matter what exercise you are performing, the neutral grip is the safest. It alleviates stress on the elbow joint and forces the muscles to do more work. This is what you want since you are trying to build muscle. The neutral grip is especially well suited to doing pull downs and most commercial gyms have the necessary equipment i.e. Two short bars with circles at the end perpendicular to the longer bars normally used for the traditional grips.

I also highly recommend using dumbbells over barbells whenever possible. The advantage to using dumbbells is that they let you choose whatever grip you want and so you can use the neutral grip for a wide variety of exercises and reduce the likelihood of injury to your joints.

Personally, the only time I use barbells is when doing the close grip bench press or wrist curls. I use dumbbells for all the others. In addition to being safe I�m also able to stretch more when doing incline presses for the chest and as a result I have a more well developed chest.

Remember that whenever you lock your hands into a fixed position as in barbell movements as well as when using upper body exercise machines, you run the risk of injury to your joints. So be careful, use dumbbells or a neutral grip bar.