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Posted: 1/3/2012 9:39:32 AM EDT
At my last powerlifting meet I had someone recommend switching to the hook grip, which is where you wrap you fingers over your thumb to prevent rolling of the bar, same concept as straps. I have trouble gripping the bar evenly when using the mixed grip because I can line my hands up on the bar overhand, supinate the one hand and it shifts a good 4 inches. I have seen video of my deadlift where I would have the a lot of horizontal movement of the bar as the bar centered itself due to me starting out uncentered. This is pretty inefficient and makes the likelihood of an injury go way up.

At first I was a tad hesitant. I had experimented once before and 225, which was a really light weight for me but it felt like it was going to tear my thumbs off. But of my 3 choices of action I decided switching to hook grip was the best of the three. I did some reading up on it and realized where I went wrong the first time was not trying to squeeze as hard as humanly possible. I was only squeezing hard enough to maintain my grip. So this time around I mashed my thumb into the bar as if I had to lift it with only my thumbs. Then my index and middle fingers would squeeze to mash my thumb further into the bar while the remaining two fingers tried to squeeze through the bar. 225 went up with none of the discomfort that made me abondon the hook grip prior. Heavy weights were uncomftrable, but not exessively though.

A few days ago I pulled a max deadlift using the hook grip. I wondered if that was trully a max or if the discomfort of it made it seem harder than it really was. I threw another 10 pounds on the bar and used straps. I attempted to pull and failed miserabley. So I now know I can handle a max weight with the hook grip. I have adapted pretty well already but I still need to get used to it more.

Two things that have helped besides squeezing as hard as possible are taping my thumbs up where my fingers come in contact with them and using straps rather than abusing my thumbs. I tend to chew my nails and I wonder if I am able to let my thumb nails grow out if I wouldn't need to tape them. Either way my federation allows taping of the thumb so I am good in that respect. I know a lot of people think poorly of straps but I would rather use them than needlessly thrash my thumbs. Quite a few guys who use the hook grip use straps for rep work. Basically if I feel like my thumbs have had enough I use straps so I can come back next time and still be able to use the hook grip.

Overall I feel this is making my deadlift a lot more efficient and safer.
Link Posted: 1/3/2012 9:48:19 AM EDT
Cool, I use a mixed grip for DL, but I ALWAYS use a hook grip for cleans and snatches. Hated it at first, but it's the only way to go really. Shit hurts though...
Link Posted: 1/3/2012 9:56:22 AM EDT
That's something I'm going to have to look into more. My hands sweat quite a bit at times and I have had to use straps at 315 because of it. Tonight is deads... I will give that a try.
Link Posted: 1/3/2012 8:03:52 PM EDT
Is there any reason to use a hook grip if your standard overhand grip isn't what is failing?

I have seen some oly lift tutorial videos show the hook grip for some things, but everything else on me including my technique fails before my hands do. Also, the thought of a hook grip after breaking my thumb isn't a pleasant one.
Link Posted: 1/3/2012 10:58:59 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MrKasab:
At my last powerlifting meet I had someone recommend switching to the hook grip, which is where you wrap you fingers over your thumb to prevent rolling of the bar, same concept as straps. I have trouble gripping the bar evenly when using the mixed grip because I can line my hands up on the bar overhand, supinate the one hand and it shifts a good 4 inches. I have seen video of my deadlift where I would have the a lot of horizontal movement of the bar as the bar centered itself due to me starting out uncentered. This is pretty inefficient and makes the likelihood of an injury go way up.

At first I was a tad hesitant. I had experimented once before and 225, which was a really light weight for me but it felt like it was going to tear my thumbs off. But of my 3 choices of action I decided switching to hook grip was the best of the three. I did some reading up on it and realized where I went wrong the first time was not trying to squeeze as hard as humanly possible. I was only squeezing hard enough to maintain my grip. So this time around I mashed my thumb into the bar as if I had to lift it with only my thumbs. Then my index and middle fingers would squeeze to mash my thumb further into the bar while the remaining two fingers tried to squeeze through the bar. 225 went up with none of the discomfort that made me abondon the hook grip prior. Heavy weights were uncomftrable, but not exessively though.

A few days ago I pulled a max deadlift using the hook grip. I wondered if that was trully a max or if the discomfort of it made it seem harder than it really was. I threw another 10 pounds on the bar and used straps. I attempted to pull and failed miserabley. So I now know I can handle a max weight with the hook grip. I have adapted pretty well already but I still need to get used to it more.

Two things that have helped besides squeezing as hard as possible are taping my thumbs up where my fingers come in contact with them and using straps rather than abusing my thumbs. I tend to chew my nails and I wonder if I am able to let my thumb nails grow out if I wouldn't need to tape them. Either way my federation allows taping of the thumb so I am good in that respect. I know a lot of people think poorly of straps but I would rather use them than needlessly thrash my thumbs. Quite a few guys who use the hook grip use straps for rep work. Basically if I feel like my thumbs have had enough I use straps so I can come back next time and still be able to use the hook grip.

Overall I feel this is making my deadlift a lot more efficient and safer.

I think I need to try this. Kinda funny you talked about injury with mixed grip. Just tonight I was doing deads. I always use a double overhand grip with deads, but feel like I almost lose the bar at 365. I tried a mixed grip tonight so I could go heavier, since I didn't have my straps with me. As I was working my way up, it felt a little awkward to me, but it was ok. I really had to focus to get my grip spaced properly. I got to 275 with a mixed grip, and felt like I favored my left side (my underhand side), but wasn't sure. Felt a gnarly pop in my back on the second rep, and it was game over.

I just got back from the ER. I was in so much pain in the waiting room I couldn't hardly believe it. They gave me a shot of Dilaudid while I was there, and prescribed me Percocets, Valium, and Ibuprofin. I am so fucking bummed and irritated I can't believe it.

I'll never deadlift with mixed grip again... even if it wasn't the cause of the injury, cause now it's in my head.

Sorry if my grammar is bad or something. I'm pretty high.
Link Posted: 1/4/2012 3:30:01 AM EDT


Cody, what does your elbow carrying angle look like? I feel if you have one that is a little on the extreme side evenly placing your hands on the bar while using a mixed grip isn't as simple as lining up your fingers with equal referance points on the bar. I personally thought hook grip was a simpler and better fix than figuring out exactly where my hands had to go with a mixed grip. I hope you have a speedy and easy recovery.

Low2000, if grip strength isn't an issue I think hook grip would complicate something that doesn't require complicating.

I realized last night that curling my thumb to run alongside the bar makes this far easier than trying to run my thumb underneath the bar.
Link Posted: 1/4/2012 5:05:11 AM EDT
I tried it last night with snatches and cleans, and it seemed to work much better. It seemed as if I had a better grib on the bar and it felt more natural (or at least convinced myself it did).

Link Posted: 1/4/2012 12:33:14 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/4/2012 12:34:27 PM EDT by codyXdeath]

Originally Posted By MrKasab:
http://photos2.fotosearch.com/bthumb/LIF/LIF155/MM114004.jpg

Cody, what does your elbow carrying angle look like? I feel if you have one that is a little on the extreme side evenly placing your hands on the bar while using a mixed grip isn't as simple as lining up your fingers with equal referance points on the bar. I personally thought hook grip was a simpler and better fix than figuring out exactly where my hands had to go with a mixed grip. I hope you have a speedy and easy recovery.

Low2000, if grip strength isn't an issue I think hook grip would complicate something that doesn't require complicating.

I realized last night that curling my thumb to run alongside the bar makes this far easier than trying to run my thumb underneath the bar.

You make a good point. I was simply choosing equal reference points on the bar. Not sure how extreme my elbow angle is, but I'll look into it once I can move around a little easier. I guess that would explain why I felt like I was 'favoring' my left side. This is the first time I tried a mixed grip since lifting heavy, and the first time I've ever been hurt in the gym. Should've been a little smarter about it.

Thanks for this thread, I am going to try a hook grip once I can get back in the gym, and work up a little more slowly again until I get used to it.
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