When you are lifting, try to keep your hands spaced evenly on the bar. Whether you have a natural grip, close grip, wide grip, split grip, or even one handed grip, you will generally want to have the same distance from each hand to the center of the bar and to the weight plates. With only a few exceptions, you want to have the bar centered to make sure that you do not injure yourself or throw yourself unnecessarily off balance. It is very easy to ensure that you have the bar centered; if you aren’t sure how here are some tips.

  • The center of the bar will usually be smooth, while the rest of the bar will have a rough cut to it to make it easier to grip.
  • If the bar is on a rack, you can line your head up with the center and then put your hands on the bar in front of your shoulders.
  • There are usually small smooth rings at intervals on the bar.
  • Place your hands on or next to those smooth spots to get a grip other than shoulder width.
  • Measure away from the smooth spots using your fingers. A common grip I use is the length of my thumbs outside of the smooth spots.
  • You can also use knuckle lengths as quick measurements.

With a little practice, it can be quite easy to make sure you have an even grip on a bar. There are a few exceptions for when you would not want to have an even grip, however.

  • When lifting a dumbbell by the weight plates.
  • When lifting one of the bar while resting the other end on the floor. Normally, the other end is wedged into a corner or a tube made to fit it.

How else do you quickly and accurately measure where to place your hands? Are there any other grips that you use where you would not have an even grip?