Changing Your Lifting Grip Can Keep Workouts Fresh
Byline: Lya Wodraska Salt Lake Tribune
Changing your exercise routine is a great way to keep workouts fresh and challenge the body.
Not allowing yourself to get comfortable helps you find "new" muscles to work or provides new mental and balance challenges.
One change that's easy to make -- but often overlooked -- is the grip you use when lifting.
By simply changing the way you hold weights or bars, you can change your workout. Another option is to substitute cable handles for those with different shapes or for ropes.
By doing this one simple change, you can tweak muscles and get more definition since you are challenging the body on a neuromuscular level.
In 1992, a research project in the International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics studied how three different bar diameters affected neuromuscular strength. Researchers compared three different handles and the reactions it caused in weightlifters. They tracked the information using an EMG -- short for "electromyography" -- machine, which records the electrical activity produced by skeletal muscles.
Researchers found that the smallest handle elicited the greatest maximal voluntary contraction and the lowest neuromuscular activation on the EMG machine. The largest handle caused the greatest neuromuscular response and the smallest maximal voluntary contraction. …