Bad Grip, Bad Hips

If I were a rapper my stage name would be Hot Red Nasty. I’d be like a white Trinidad James–or maybe I’d be a black Eminem. My first album, Sunburnt But Flexin, would sell two million copies the first week. It would be a concept album telling the story of how we roll in New Harlem (aka State College, PA). The streets here is real.

Since most of the hard times here in New Harlem take place in the weight-room, most of the epic jams would have rhyme schemes about failed bench press efforts and foam rolling nightmares.

Dropped the ball on 375–pressed it off my chest jus’ tryna stay alive!

I know, it’s dope.

Rather than dropping lines about trifling hoes, my lines would spit hot fire about the pit falls of poor grip and how it mangles the hips.

I’ll give you a little back story before the song comes out. Damn, this is like pre-emptive a Vh1 True Hollywood story.

I have this client named Cody. He’s a young buck–a college senior–21 or 22 green years of age. And, although he’s naturally strong, Cody is green as a lifter. He started with me two months ago and we are still in the process of cleaning up basic form.

Cody’s been having a difficult time with his grip; no matter what he does he wants to set his grip with his wrists extended. Here’s an example–it’s Cody deadlifting.

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Did you follow along with the video and take notice of his hips? When he pulled with extended wrists he had a difficult time setting his lumbar spine at neutral and extending his hips without lumbar flexion. This comes with a plethora of consequences–possible low back injury and training a poor stability pattern at the lumbo-pelvic hip complex. The latter could, of course, result in the former.

Why does the misaligned wrist result in misaligned and inefficient hips? Stability.

Straight wrists promote solid irradiation–better recruiting muscles throughout the kinetic chain. Extended wrists screw up the pattern–co-contraction is inefficient and the body has to do something to create stability. It flexes the lumbar spine.

Cody and I made more headway toward resolving this problem yesterday afternoon–we started using the cue “knucles to the floor.” It’s helped.

The grip and hip conundrum isn’t limited to the extension problem–it will happen when the wrists are neutral if the grip is poor. It’s common knowledge that a solid grip protects the shoulders, but it’s pivotal for hip and back health when training deadlifts and other hinging patterns.

Monsters grab stuff hard.

Stay sunburnt. Stay flexin’.

We out.

 

 

 

 

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Todd Bumgardner

M.S./ CSCS/ Owner of Beyond Strength Performance/ Ginger

Todd Bumgardner

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