If you’re anything like me, you’re always looking for ways to diversify your workout and oftentimes get caught up doing the some of the same exercises. You can drastically change your workout intensity and targeted muscle groups by simply changing your hand grip and/or foot position. Below is a short list of hand grip and foot position variations you can apply to your workout. As with anything, if it hurts, STOP doing it, consult an expert, or try something else.
Pronated (also called reverse grip): Palms facing up
Supinated (also called downward grip): Palms facing down.
Neutral: Palms facing inward, in a more natural position.
Mixed: Have one hand pronated and the other supinated. Dependent upon the exercise, you may be able to incorporate a neutral grip with a supinated or pronated grip.
Close: Position your hands approximately 4-6 inches apart.
Medium: Position your hands approximately shoulder width apart.
Wide: Position your hands approximately 4-6 inches wider than shoulder width apart.
A few examples of applicable exercises include bicep curls, bench press, lat pull-downs, push ups, EZ bar curls, tricep press, pull ups, and push ups. Play around with your hand grips and challenge yourself! Have fun with it.
Close: Position your feet approximately 4-6 inches apart.
Medium: Position your feet shoulder width apart.
Wide: Position your feet approximately 4-8 inches wider than shoulder width apart.
Toes outward: Angle your toes inward approximately 20-40 degrees. Helps target outer leg muscles (i.e., biceps femoris).
Toes inward: Angle your toes outward approximately 30-45 degrees. Helps target inner leg muscles (i.e., semimembranosus)
Toes straight: Good for overall muscle development.
Of course you can double up on these foot positions. For example, wide stance with toes outward.
As with any exercise, consult a certified personal trainer to ensure proper form, minimize the likelihood of injury, and maximize your workout.