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Hook Grip?
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Waittz
Level 4

Join date: Nov 2004
Posts: 2652

Serious how do you get yourself trained to use it? Tried for the first time in an attempt to lose the straps for Deadlifting and 275 felt like my thumbs would explode.

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Fletch1986
Level 3

Join date: Aug 2007
Posts: 4881

You pretty much just have to keep practicing it. If you have to, start out with lighter weight just make sure you're not just being a wuss about it before you do that. I've found that a hook grip after practice is inbetween the strength of my regular overhand and over-under. The advantage is that it can spare you shoulder and bicep problems and give you more symmetrical back development.

Since you've been using straps, it may be a bit rougher for you than it usually is which is still pretty tough.

Most who use it regularly seem to suggest using it for only low reps but I found higher reps really didn't give me any problems with the grip.

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DAVE101
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Join date: Feb 2013
Posts: 271

It always hurts the first time ;)

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ouroboro_s
Level 1

Join date: Feb 2008
Posts: 7749

I pull almost exclusively with a hook. It took a bit of getting used to but I don't feel it anymore. I feel like my deadlift set up is cleaner and more symmetrical. The only time in the recent past when I've switched to mixed is during seconds and thirds at an equipped meet.

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238
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Join date: Dec 2012
Posts: 292

Do it on your warmup sets and build up from there, like how some people recommend doing a double overhand grip then switching to mixed when you can't hold it any more, instead now you use the hook grip on your light sets until you can't.

And as counter-intuitive as this may sound, really try to crush the bar when you're gripping it, even on the light sets. Sometimes my pain was due to the skin splitting as the bar shifted in my hands. In that case, taping your thumbs may also help.

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StateOfPsychosis
Level 5

Join date: Aug 2008
Posts: 573

Just gotta keep using it, eventually it won't even faze you.

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Waittz
Level 4

Join date: Nov 2004
Posts: 2652

238 wrote:
Do it on your warmup sets and build up from there, like how some people recommend doing a double overhand grip then switching to mixed when you can't hold it any more, instead now you use the hook grip on your light sets until you can't.

And as counter-intuitive as this may sound, really try to crush the bar when you're gripping it, even on the light sets. Sometimes my pain was due to the skin splitting as the bar shifted in my hands. In that case, taping your thumbs may also help.


This is basically what I did today. Once I went to the 315 mark I just switch to mixed. I'll keep this strategy. Was even thinking of using it on my rows to get some more time under the belt so to speak.


Thanks for the feedback everyone, pretty helpful

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Jbott1988
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Join date: Jun 2012
Posts: 180

Once you get used to it it'd hard to shake! I caught my thumb in a crossbow last weekend, my lifting has been week since, s
Had to go back to traditional and monkey grip til it heals

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kgildner
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Join date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1022

I think some people are more tolerant to hook grip than others. I made the switch to hook grip not that long ago and hit my mixed-grip PR in training two weeks ago. The hook grip seems to put me in a starting posture that feels much more natural to me.

In order to ease the pressure a bit I've been taping my thumbs with athletic tape and chalking up more than usual.

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muscle_g
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Join date: Jan 2009
Posts: 270

I've been using the hook grip, for a little over a year now and it has made a world of difference on how my back and hips feel. I started out using it for shrugs and one-arm DB rows to get used to it.

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Waittz
Level 4

Join date: Nov 2004
Posts: 2652

Never thought of taping my thumbs, going to try and also use it with rows/shrugs to build it up.

I am wondering, I'm not a big person and my hands are average size, when I grip my thumb, I ended up gripping the nail part, all I could grab, should I be trying to grab more on the knuckle? Wondering how I can pull that off.

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StrengthDawg
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Posts: 1555

One opinion from a random internet poster..fuck a hook grip.. in my mind this is sideshow shit akin to those guys picking up anvils with their dicks. Sure it can be done and it also hurts the first time doing it but WTF... just train your grip and lift the bar with your whole hand as the good Lord intended. Deadlifting is already hard enough. Why add another torture facet to it with this hook grip thing?

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c.m.l.
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Join date: Dec 2012
Posts: 606

Waittz wrote:
Never thought of taping my thumbs, going to try and also use it with rows/shrugs to build it up.

I am wondering, I'm not a big person and my hands are average size, when I grip my thumb, I ended up gripping the nail part, all I could grab, should I be trying to grab more on the knuckle? Wondering how I can pull that off.


I'm interested in this as well, I'm beginning to feel a bit asymmetric in my back development from always pulling mixed. I feel quite weak double overhand, but when I try hook I cant really get a good wrap around my thumb. My hands arent all that big, and they are fat and sausagey.

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ouroboro_s
Level 1

Join date: Feb 2008
Posts: 7749

StrengthDawg wrote:
One opinion from a random internet poster..fuck a hook grip.. in my mind this is sideshow shit akin to those guys picking up anvils with their dicks. Sure it can be done and it also hurts the first time doing it but WTF... just train your grip and lift the bar with your whole hand as the good Lord intended. Deadlifting is already hard enough. Why add another torture facet to it with this hook grip thing?


It depends on what you find harder. I find it makes it easier for me. It feels faster off the ground and less windmilling and torquing at the top.

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OmniStyx
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Join date: Nov 2012
Posts: 257

It definitely takes a lot of time to get used to hook grip. It took me many months because it kept tearing my hands up to the point of pouring out blood. Even 4 months in I had to tape my thumbs and hands to prevent profuse bleeding. But for me it was worthwhile because it never felt natural to use mixed grip and it is actually harder for me to hold onto the bar with mixed. At the beginning I would recommend only using lower reps because higher reps tend to butcher the hands more. Once your hands build up to it higher reps will probably be okay.

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Waittz
Level 4

Join date: Nov 2004
Posts: 2652

StrengthDawg wrote:
One opinion from a random internet poster..fuck a hook grip.. in my mind this is sideshow shit akin to those guys picking up anvils with their dicks. Sure it can be done and it also hurts the first time doing it but WTF... just train your grip and lift the bar with your whole hand as the good Lord intended. Deadlifting is already hard enough. Why add another torture facet to it with this hook grip thing?


pulling double overhand has a lot of carry over to other lifts as well as more symetrical Developement. Pulling with a standard grip will not allow you to pull heavier loads without fighting the bar from rolling down your hands leading your focus on to holding the weight instead of performing on the pull. Straps are very painful after about 405+ which again is a distraction from performing. There is a reason why every champion and high level Olympic lifter use a hook grip. This is why I want to start training with it. Not for shock value or shits and giggles.

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kgildner
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Join date: Sep 2012
Posts: 1022

Waittz wrote:
Never thought of taping my thumbs, going to try and also use it with rows/shrugs to build it up.

I am wondering, I'm not a big person and my hands are average size, when I grip my thumb, I ended up gripping the nail part, all I could grab, should I be trying to grab more on the knuckle? Wondering how I can pull that off.


Try to dig the bar in as deep as possible into the webbing betwen the thumb and forefinger and then grip the thumb as far and as hard as you can with the first two fingers. Since it's mostly about the thumb and the first two fingers, I think doing some pinch-grip stuff on the side could also be of benefit.

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toddthebod
Level 3

Join date: Jan 2008
Posts: 93

Every Olympic lifter tapes his or her thumbs. Every single one. If you are tearing the skin off of your thumbs, you are doing it wrong.

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Waittz
Level 4

Join date: Nov 2004
Posts: 2652

kgildner wrote:
Waittz wrote:
Never thought of taping my thumbs, going to try and also use it with rows/shrugs to build it up.

I am wondering, I'm not a big person and my hands are average size, when I grip my thumb, I ended up gripping the nail part, all I could grab, should I be trying to grab more on the knuckle? Wondering how I can pull that off.


Try to dig the bar in as deep as possible into the webbing betwen the thumb and forefinger and then grip the thumb as far and as hard as you can with the first two fingers. Since it's mostly about the thumb and the first two fingers, I think doing some pinch-grip stuff on the side could also be of benefit.


Good info thanks.

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StrengthDawg
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Waittz wrote:
There is a reason why every champion and high level Olympic lifter use a hook grip. This is why I want to start training with it. Not for shock value or shits and giggles.


So you know this for a fact? EVERY OLY lifter? lol. well, it sounds to me like you've made your decision. Good luck on killing your thumb and deadlifting when you should prolly just work on your grip. I double over hand and never have a grip problem even with heavy weights. you just have to work on it like everything else. Your goals, your lifts and your body. You asked for opinions and you got it. Take it for what it's worth.

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Waittz
Level 4

Join date: Nov 2004
Posts: 2652

StrengthDawg wrote:
Waittz wrote:
There is a reason why every champion and high level Olympic lifter use a hook grip. This is why I want to start training with it. Not for shock value or shits and giggles.


So you know this for a fact? EVERY OLY lifter? lol. well, it sounds to me like you've made your decision. Good luck on killing your thumb and deadlifting when you should prolly just work on your grip. I double over hand and never have a grip problem even with heavy weights. you just have to work on it like everything else. Your goals, your lifts and your body. You asked for opinions and you got it. Take it for what it's worth.


Yes. And yes, which is why I asked how to get better at it, not should I do it. I didn't ask for anyone's opinion on if I should, I asked how to.

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Rock978
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Join date: Apr 2013
Posts: 281

Do you really think which grip you use is any kind of limiting factor with where your deadlift is at now? Or that you couldn't pretty quickly develop the grip strength to double overhand 400-500 lbs? Your deadlift concerns could probably be better focused elsewhere.




Oh yeah, this guy seems to be doing OK without a hook grip. Not a world class deadlift or anything though.

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Rock978
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Join date: Apr 2013
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Do you really think which grip you use is any kind of limiting factor with where your deadlift is at now? Or that you couldn't pretty quickly develop the grip strength to double overhand 400-500 lbs? Your deadlift concerns could probably be better focused elsewhere.




Oh yeah, this guy seems to be doing OK without a hook grip. Not a world class deadlift or anything though.

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DallasV
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Join date: Aug 2013
Posts: 18

Jesus! I didn't know people had such a hard time with hook gripping, wow. It's pretty natural for me. It rips the skin off the meaty part of my hands more, but that's the only drawback I've ever seen; and if you want to be a hand model I don't think deadlifting in general is the right way to go. I initially started when I started doing snatch grip pulls, and it felt perfect so I started using it on everything.

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kgildner
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Posts: 1022

I'm not sure why this topic should be controversial. Grip is a matter of personal preference and the hook grip is a perfectly valid and trainable means of lifting heavy things if it works for you. The advantages of the hook grip might wane in comparison to the mixed grip as someone approaches world record deadlift territory, but for just about everyone on this forum, I doubt this comes into question.

For me personally, the prime advantage of using a hook grip is that it puts me into a more natural starting position for the deadlift. My shoulders and lats are better engaged and my t-spine is able to remain in better alignment. Apart from this, I can only supinate my left hand for mixed grip owing to an old injury in my right hand that makes it impossible to hold any heavy weight with a right-hand supination. After years of deadlifting with a supinated left and pronated right hand, I indeed noticed too much wear and tear on my left biceps tendon -- hence the switch to hook grip.

I don't doubt that if I were hoping to pull world-record weight, I'd likely need to make the switch back to mixed grip. However, I quickly hit my previous mixed-grip PR after starting to use a hook grip without any difficulty or pain following the lift. Apart from that, my left elbow/biceps tendon problems are now clearing up.

To each his own, but hook grip works wonderfully for me. It's also a great tool to have in your skillset if you ever decide to incorporate heavier snatch-grip work into your training.

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