Grip Changes That Produce Muscle Building Results
Using grip changes is the most easy and efficient way to ensure the full development of every angle of each muscle group targeted during your workouts.
Many people falsely believe that in order to fully develop every angle of each muscle group, numerous exercises that each work a different angle of the muscle are required.
I have discovered a much easier way to ensure full muscular development – vary the grips you use for each exercise performed.
Wide To Narrow
When performing the first set of reps of a given lifting exercise, start with your hand grips (or feet position for squats or leg press) at the widest point from one another at which you can comfortably perform the entire range of the lifting movement.
Perform your first set at this widest point and continue to make your grip narrower with each set performed until your last set. Your last set should be performed with as narrow of a grip as can be comfortably used while performing the entire range of the exercise movement.
So, if you are performing 4 sets of an exercise, your first set will be performed with your grip at its widest point, your second set will be completed with a narrower grip than the first, and your third set should be performed with an even narrower grip than the second.
On your fourth and final set, you will use the most narrow grip width as comfortably possible.
Regardless of the number of sets you are performing, start with the widest grip as comfortably possible for your first set of the exercise and end with the narrowest grip as comfortably possible for your final set of the exercise.
By varying your grips in this manner you will effectively work all angles and areas of each muscle group being targeted without having to perform countless different exercises.
Example Of Grip Changes
The bench press is a great exercise example to show how varying grips can be used to work the different angles of the chest or pectoral region.
Using a wide grip on the bench press exercise will predominantly work the outer part of the middle and lower chest while a narrow grip will focus on the center of the chest.
Your first set of the bench press exercise will work the outer part of the chest and the focus of the movement will continually move inward with each subsequent set until you have completed all sets and effectively worked all angles of the middle and lower pectoral muscles.
Just by using grip changes on the bench press, you are able to work all angles of the middle and lower chest leaving no muscle fiber in the pectoral region unstimulated.
Another example that I will use to show how dynamic grips can be used to work all areas of a muscle group is the lat pull down exercise.
The lat pull down exercise is used to target the upper and middle back muscles. Using a wide grip on this exercise will focus the intensity on the outer angles of your upper back muscles while using a narrow grip will work the central parts of the upper and middle back muscles.
Keep in mind that as you vary your grip from wide to narrow, every angle of the targeted muscle group is worked, all the way from one extreme to the other.
Implementing changing grips as part of your workout regimen will sufficiently stimulate all angles of each muscle group being targeted on a given exercise.
However, in order to be successful in developing every angle of every muscle in your body, you will need to perform my full list of exercises to ensure that every angle of each muscle group is sufficiently stimulated.
For example, while using grip changes on the bench press is sufficient to work every angle of the middle portion of the chest, the inclined bench press exercise with grip changes must also be used to properly work all angles of the upper chest muscles as well.
Also, keep in mind that certain exercises do not allow you the ability to vary your grips. The pec deck and dead lift exercises are two examples of exercises where using grip changes will not be realistic.