Wake up your muscles and accelerate your gains by changing your grip.

In cricket, bowlers use a variety of grips to fool batsmen. Trainer Todd Durkin, author of The IMPACT! Body Plan (R232, kalahari. com), uses the same strategy to build new muscle. “Switching up your grip not only hits muscles you often neglect but also works the ones you train regularly from new angles,” says Durkin, who created the following workout to capitalise on three sport-inspired hand positions. Weave them into your fitness plan to trigger new growth and transform your body.

Do This: Perform three sets of each of these exercises, using a different grip each time. Rest 30 seconds between sets and one minute between moves.

1/Scarecrow – With a dumbbell in each hand, raise your upper arms so they’re parallel to the floor; your elbows should be bent 90-degrees. This is the starting position. Without changing the position of your upper arms, rotate your forearms up and back as far as you can. Pause, and return to the starting position. Do 10 reps per set.

Grips:

  • Set 1: yorker Palms face forward
  • Set 2: off-break Palms face in
  • Set 3: leg -break Palms face out

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2/Dumbbell Single-Arm Row – Grab a dumbbell in your right hand and place your left hand on a flat bench; your torso should be parallel to the floor. Let the dumbbell hang at arm’s length. This is the starting position. Row the weight to your side, pause, and return to the starting position. Do five reps, switch sides and repeat 10 reps per set.

Grips:

  • Set 1: yorker Palm faces back
  • Set 2: off-break Palm faces in
  • Set 3: leg -break Palm faces out

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3/Dumbbell Bench Press – Lie on your back on a flat bench holding a pair of dumbbells above your chest with your arms straight and shoulder blades pulled down and together. This is the starting position. Lower the dumbbells to the sides of your chest, pause and then press them back up to the starting position. Do 10 reps per set.

Grips:

  • Set 1: yorker Palms face forward
  • Set 2: off-break Palms face in
  • Set 3: leg -break Palms face out

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4/Flex-T Hang with Knee Tuck – Hang from a chin-up bar with your hands shoulder-width apart and legs straight. Pull yourself up until your elbows are bent 90-degrees; this is the starting position. Without changing arm position, bend your knees and lift your thighs until parallel to the floor. Pause, and return to the starting position. Do 10 reps per set.

Grips:

  • Set 1: yorker Palms face forward
  • Set 2: off-break Palms face in
  • Set 3: leg -break Palms face out

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Grab Tight

Changing your grip isn’t the only way to build new muscle. “Strengthening your grip will increase the amount of weight you can lift,” says Durkin. The more you can lift, the more lean mass you’ll gain and the stronger you’ll be. Add the kettlebell bottom-up carry to your weekly routine to bulk up your forearms, bolster your wrists and build an iron handshake.

Kettlebell Bottom-Up Carry

Grab a kettlebell by the handle and squeeze it with your left hand. Push the bottom of the weight up until it’s at eye level and keep it there for the entire move. With your core braced and your glutes tight, walk forward 20m and then backward 20m. Switch hands and then repeat.

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