Swimmer Strength Tech Tip: Gripping

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Contributed by Deniz Hekmati – Strength & Conditioning Specialist, Sport Scientist 

How to grip things is a highly overlooked topic, yet grip strength is correlated to faster sprint performance in youth swimmers. Additionally, a solid grip in the weight room might save us from shoulder injuries and allows us to lift more weight. By gripping correctly, we might eliminate certain shoulder or elbow pain.

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First, keep the knuckles and wrists in line with the forearm as much as possible, especially during pressing movements. If not, the wrist takes on unnecessary pressure that can lead to future issues. Also, whenever grabbing the bars or dumbbells – grab them like you mean it, then position the wrist in line with the forearm.

When lifting off the ground, or doing farmers carries – the cue is “knuckles down.” When doing vertical or horizontal pressing – the cue “knuckles up” is more appropriate.

When grabbing, make sure to wrap the thumb around the given object.

Last, when carrying objects, be sure that the shoulder blades are engaged. They should gently be squeezed back and pulled down to separate the neck from the head. Nothing should slap on the thighs either, the arms should be straight and be able to keep the weights away from bouncing on the body.

Being unable to grip correctly, or compensating the grip may, in fact, have a relation between how the shoulder and the scapula interact during certain movements – overhead in particular.

See more videos from Swimmer Strength Coach Deniz Hekmati:

Swimmer Strength Tech Tip: Abdominal Bracing

Swimmer Strength Tech Tip: Strength and Dryland Technique Matters

Swimmer Strength Tech Tip: Age to Start Dryland Training or Strength Training

Swimmer Strength Tech Tip: Squat Problems

Swimmer Strength Tech Tip: Performing the Squat

Swimmer Strength Tech Tip: Fixing the Squat by Improving Range of Motion

Swimmer Strength Tech Tip: McGill 3 Core Exercises

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Note: All swimming and dryland training and instruction should be performed under the supervision of a qualified coach or instructor, and in circumstances that ensure the safety of participants.

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