Lend a Hand

Lend a Hand

Changing hand positioning can prevent injuries and speed results. Something as simple as a small change in hand positioning can have a big benefit. When you change hand positions, you don’t just provide variety, you get a different range of motion and can help prevent overuse injuries.

Here are three moves where changing hand positions can make a big difference:


Narrow: Hands should be positioned below shoulders with elbows close to the rib cage. The narrow position works the sagittal plane along with the deltoid muscles. Also, the triceps receive a more intense workout because the chest is engaged less.

Wide: Arms should be out 90 degrees from shoulders and elbows positioned above wrists. The wide grip works the larger, more powerful fibers in the pectoral major muscles.

1269_0 Push-ups-3-1

Barbell Row

Narrow: The wrists should be in line with the elbows, which are next to the rib cage. The narrow grip can build strong lats and is better for those with shoulder impingements.

Wide: Elbows should be positioned 90 degrees with wrists in line with elbows. Targeting the transverse plane, this grip works the upper back muscles (rear deltoid and middle trapezius). This move can help improve posture.

Bent-Over-Barbell-Row Bent-Over+Barbell+Rows+1

Lat Pull-down

Narrow: Hands should be about shoulder width, with elbows tucked close to the rib cage. This grip engages the rhomboid muscles and biceps and is beneficial for those with shoulder impingements.

Wide: When grabbing the bar, the elbows should be at about 90 degrees with hands in line with the bar or slightly wider. The bar should be pulled down in front of the head, not behind. This move is one of the best ways to target the lats.

Close-Grip-Lat-Pull-Down lat-pulldown

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