#JustATip – Ideal Grip Position for Pull Ups

March 14, 2018


In this series we are going to showcase a quick tip to improve your training. Typically, these will be tangible tips as we will cover the conceptual aspect of training in our Just a Thought series on Thursdays.

Today’s tip concerns proper grip of the bar during pull-ups or any other movement in which one hangs by the hands. The most common mistake in gripping the bar is to do so by wrapping the fingers around the bar first. This is not ideal as it does not allow the wrist to actuate properly, can increase your risk of tearing a callous, accelerates hand/forearm fatigue, and decreases the wrists range of motion.

In this grip the base knuckles point behind the athlete and the middle knuckles face upwards.

An ideal position begins by placing the surface of the palm, opposite of the base knuckles(callous area), on top of the bar and then wrapping the rest of the hand securely around the bar. The base knuckles should now point upward while the middle knuckles have now begun to point away from the athlete.

A simple verbal cue to reinforce this setup is to “punch the sky.”

The most advantageous aspect of this grip position is to allow proper wrist flexion and extension as the athlete executes the movement. Secondary benefits include reduced hand/wrist fatigue and reduced potential for the hands to tear.

Both of these benefits are due to a much greater reduction in palm/hand movement, thus causing less friction and less re-gripping of the bar.

Until next time.

Stay mobile.


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Praxis Athletics