Grip Adjustment For Shoulder Health

A picture of pulled pork on what looks to be homemade potato chips.

…delicious pulled pork shoulder.

I know, it’s not the shoulder you were thinking of, but I’ll get into that in a minute.

I just thought that anyone out there cutting weight may like the image. I don’t know why, but I used to watch a lot of Food Network back when I was cutting weight.

So for anyone out there who’s like me, I hope this brightened your day!

Anyway, on to the point…

Quick Grip Adjustment

I’m going to draw some conclusions based on the research I’m about to present. Please keep in mind that some of my suggestions to follow are not directly based on the research. Rather, I am drawing conclusions based on the data.

The purpose of the study was to measure and assess the impact of hand position on the activity of the posterior deltoid muscle while performing a Reverse Fly exercise on a machine.

A secondary purpose was to measure and assess the effects of the different hand positions on the activity of the middle deltoid and Infraspinatus. The Infraspinatus is one of four muscles of the Rotator Cuff. It is responsible for external rotation.

It has been shown that without optimal performance, specifically downward pull, from the Rotator Cuff muscles, the head of the Humerus is driven into the Acromion process. This causes impingement and subsequent pain and dysfunction within the shoulder joint.

Basically, adequate strength in the rotator cuff muscles helps to create balance. It is all in an effort to keep your shoulder as centered in the joint as possible.

Here’s what the researchers concluded:

1. EMG activity of the posterior deltoid was significantly greater with a neutral grip than with a pronated grip.

2. EMG activity of the infraspinatus was significantly greater with a neutral grip than with a pronated grip.

3. EMG activity of the middle deltoid was greater (but not statistically significant) with a neutral grip than with a pronated grip.


Schoenfeld, B., R. Sonmez, M. Kolber, B. Contreras, R. Harris, S. Ozen. Effect of Hand Position on EMG Activity of the Posterior Shoulder Musculature During a Horizontal Abduction Exercise. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 27(10). 2644-2649. October 2013.

Osar, Evan. (2012) Corrective Exercise Solutions to Common Hip and Shoulder Dysfunction. Aptos, California: On Target Publications.


Here’s what a neutral grip looks like:

A picture of Dickie White on a Reverse Fly Machine. The way he’s gripping the handle with his left hand demonstrates a neutral grip. It’s like he’s giving a thumbs up.

Here’s what a pronated grip looks like:

 A picture of Dickie White on a Reverse Fly Machine. The way he’s gripping the handle with his left hand demonstrates a pronated grip. His palm is facing the ground and his knuckles are pointed toward the ceiling.

Although the study was only performed on the reverse fly machine, here is my suggestion- perform the exercises I detail in How To Keep Your Shoulders Healthy with a neutral grip.

For instance, instead of the pronated grip I use to demonstrate the Band Pullapart, use a neutral grip:

A picture of Dickie White performing a Neutral Grip Band Pullapart.

For the Cuban Presses or DB Cleans, use a grip like this:

A picture of Dickie White performing a Neutral Grip Cuban Press.

Again, I’m drawing conclusions from this data, but I think that the suggestions I make are valid. So give this grip adjustment a shot. I hope it helps to keep your shoulders healthier this season.

If you have any questions on shoulder health or other ways to implement this grip adjustment, leave a comment below.

Related Posts:

Tricep Strength For Shoulder Health

Shoulder Stability- The Next Piece Of The Puzzle

Shoulder/Elbow/Wrist Saving Squat Tips

How A Chiropractor Saved My Shoulder

A picture of Kyle Dake and Dickie White.
Hi, I’m Dickie (the author of this blog). Here I am with my good buddy, Kyle Dake. While he doesn't have a nice coat like me, he is pretty good at wrestling. Here's what he said about my training system:

Before I began lifting using Dickie's system my wrestling skills were getting slightly better. I've now been lifting under his guidance for more than 5 months and I have begun to dominating ALL of my competition. At first I had little faith in Dickie and his program, but now I would run into a wall if he told me I would get stronger! I know it sounds insane, but I would. The bottom line is Dickie is an expert and knows what he is talking about. If you want to defeat those kids whom you've always lost to and reach a level you never thought possible, I suggest you start lifting using Dickie's system immediately.

-Kyle Dake, 4X NCAA Division 1 National Champion

Want to see what other wrestlers are saying about my training system? Check out my Success Stories page.


Want to learn more about Dickie? Check out my About page.


Want to get started on a program today? Read this post and download your free program- 12 Week Training Program For Wrestlers.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Fill out this field
Fill out this field
Please enter a valid email address.