How to Properly Grip Your Dumbbells

Odds are you’re not holding them right, so unless you’re trying to lift to strengthen your forearms and neck, you need to watch this.

When we bring dumbbells, a kettlebell, or TRX straps into our workout, it’s pretty common to hold them wrong, squeezing the grip too hard. This puts our wrists and forearms in charge and prevents us from really working the muscles we’re trying to target. In this trainer tip VLOG, SSoD Trainer Sam gives us some “clutch” info on the best way to grip these handles, and really anything else you may be holding during your workouts.

If you’re wrapping your fingers all the way around the handle and squeezing so that your knuckles are turning white, listen up!

No matter the exercise or equipment, think about releasing the handle into a gentle hold. Just like when you’re on a Spin bike, try wiggling your fingers a little to remind yourself to loosen up. Right away, you should notice less tension in your neck, shoulders, and forearms.

Let’s look at the specifics in a couple of exercises.

Bent over row:

Instead of gripping with your fingers all the way around the handle, release the handle so that it rests in the bottom of your fingers with a gentle hold. 

Bicep curl:

With the dumbbells resting gently in your palms, let the weights kind of roll within your palms as you curl up and down.

Overhead triceps:

Hold the end of the dumbbell with your pointer fingers and thumbs creating a “diamond” shape, keeping tension light as you dip down and up.

In any position, with any of the equipment, think about letting the handle just rest in your palms, never squeezing. Give it a try both ways and you’ll quickly feel the difference.

For a great variety of workouts led by trainers you can trust and that incorporate dumbbells, kettlebells, and TRX straps, check out the class library with a Free Trial over on Studio SWEAT onDemand! Download the app, or if you happen to live in southern California, visit us in our San Diego studio.