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The Art of Spotting Gripping Vernacular

Pronated Grip – Palms down, toward the floor.  Bench Press position, Push Ups

Supinated Grip – Palms up, towards the ceiling.  Dumbbell curls, 

Neutral Grip – Thumbs up.  Shaking hands during a greeting.  V-Grip cable, Rope Pulls

Alternated Grip – One hand supinated and the other pronated.  Mechanically increases grip strength.  Use this grip when going heavy on a dead lift or when spotting a bench press.

Closed Grip – The thumb wraps around the bar, making a “circle” between thumb and fingers.  Use this on the bench press for safety.

Open Grip – The thumb is on the side as finger, pointing same direction.

Thumb Over Grip – Use this grip when there isn’t a bar, but a ledge.  This grip is used for rock climbing.  (The pad of thumb is on top of index finger.)

Hook Grip – The fingers are on top of your thumb.  Olympic lifting utilizes this grip.

Bench Press – 5 points of contact for support; head, shoulders, butt, right & left foot. Read more:

ROM – Range of motion refers to the flexibility of a joint, how far it goes.

Sticking Point – the hardest part of the exercise, “when the moment arm of the resistance is the longest”.  You will exhale during and after this point to gain some extra power.  

Valsalva Maneuver – holding your breath, closing your throat, bear down, exerting your muscles in order to increasing strength and stability.  Be cautious of increasing blood pressure during a valsalva maneuver to avoid fainting.  More info:

Spotting – you have a person standing ready to assist with your lift/exercise.  Use a spot when you are performing an exercise where the bar or weight is over your face/head.  A spotter is there for safety primarily but a spotter will commonly help count, motivate & correct you during your work set.  Once the person performing the exercise “fails” or goes backwards, this is the time to assist by spotting the weight (with even/balanced pressure).  Use your best judgement when you spot another.  It is not recommended to go beyond 4 spotted reps.  When spotting a dumbbell lift, spot your lifter by the forearms (grab their forearms for your safety also).  Also, it’s not cheating if the spotter gives a “lift-off” to start the exercise.


Chapter 14 “Essentials of Strength Training and Conditioning”; Thomas R. Baechle and Roger W. Earle – Page 326

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