Get A Grip

If you are looking to increase muscle mass and finally get the definition that you have been coveting it is going to take more than lifting heavy weights and wishful thinking. Our bodies contain about 640 different muscles from head to toe and depending on where you are looking to build mass, you will have to target those muscles individually to reach your goal.While many people work out and lift weights or do core strengthening exercises, most don't realize that they are either doing them wrong or are neglecting most of the core muscles that they have. Subtle changes to how you are gripping can be enough to give you the definition and mass that you want.

Muscles are the same as our brains and they need constant motivation to continue to grow and increase in size. For those that repetitively doing the same weight lifting regimes or who aren't gripping properly, the muscles eventually get used to the exercises we are doing and they will not respond because they have already hit their peak. The result is you will plateau and not see results even when you are lifting more weight or doing more repetitions.

By changing your grip you are telling your body to use different sets of muscles that probably haven't yet been targeted. You are also changing up the routine which shocks the various muscle groups and that will elicit a response from them too.

Try these moves below and watch the transformation happen.

The Scarecrow

Grip a dumbbell in each hand and raise both arms so that they are parallel to the floor with your elbows at a 90 degree angle. Be sure to not move or change the position of your arms and elbows and then slowly and in a circular motion rotate your forearms only upwards and back until you can't reach any farther. Now return to the starting position. That was one repetition. Complete 10 repetitions and then release the dumbbells.

To modify this exercise and hit all the muscle groups in your arms change your grips in the following 3 ways:

  • Do another set with your arms in the same position but with your palms face forward.
  • Do another set with your palms face in.
  • The final set should be done with your palms face out.

By changing the way your palms are positioned you are targeting key muscles that aren't touched by doing the standard version of this exercise.

Single-Arm Row

Position yourself so that you have a dumbbell in your right hand while your left hand is rested on a workout bench and supporting your weight. You body should be parallel to the floor. Hold the dumbbell tightly and allow it to hang by your side comfortably and then begin to row it to your side. Once your elbows are at the same height as your waist pause and then release it back to your side. Do 10 repetitions.

To modify this exercise and hit other core muscles position your body the same as above but change the grips of the dumbbells.

  • Do 10 repetitions with your palms facing backwards.
  • Do 10 repetitions with your palm facing in.
  • Do 10 repetitions with your palms facing out.

Dumbbell Bench Press
This is a popular exercise will work a few muscle groups but you can work more if you change your grip. Begin this exercise by doing the standard version. Start by laying on your back on a standard bench, holding a dumbbell in each of your hands. Raise the dumbbells straight up in the air and then slowly drop them down to your chest keeping your arms straight and your elbows at a 90 degree angle. Gently and slowly raise your arms back to the starting position. That is one repetition. Do 10 repetitions and then modify this exercise by changing your grip.

  • Do 10 repetitions with your palms facing forward.
  • Do 10 repetitions with your palms facing in.
  • Do 10 repetitions with your palms facing out.

Most weightlifting exercises can be modified to reach other muscles that are most likely not being targeted simply by shifting how you are gripping the dumbbells or the machine. Just be sure that when you are positioning your hands, palms and wrists that you aren't experiencing any pain within the wrist or neck area as this means you are over extending those areas which can cause injuries. You may also want to use some wrist bands for additional support when you first try them.

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