T Nation

Deadlift grip problem

Ok here it is. I like going to failure but becomes a real problem when deadlifting (I just stopped working out like a pussy and started to squat and deadlift) but I sometimes drop the bar. I did it twice,and the gym owners are quite pissed. Got any suggestion for a simple way to avoid this, but still go to failure?

Try using straps while doing deadlifts.

I like the PowerGrips, or maybe they’re called PowerStraps, that have this short little rubber-like strap that seems that it would have to be too short to do the job, but isn’t. Sold pretty much everywhere they sell weightlifting gloves and straps.

Perhaps you don’t use the word “failure” the way I do. To me, “failure” means trying to lift the bar, trying your absolute hardest, and being stuck, unable to move it upwards despite your best efforts. I don’t recommend doing this with the deadlift especially, and actually, not any exercises. Doing all the reps you can do and then attempting no more, never “failing” is in my opinion the most you should do.

Couple suggestions - use the hook grip, where you your index and middle fingers “hook” over your thumb. This one takes a while to get used to it, but it’s worth it. Suggestion 2 - Over/under grip. Suggestion 3 - straps.


Try a pair of canvas lifting straps…seems liek the logical solution. But only use them on your heaviest sets.

Use wrist straps!

This problem is the reason for the invention of lifting straps. Only use them on your heaviest sets so you still get some grip training from the lighter sets. You can also use them on shrugs and any back workout where your grip fails first.

if you haven’t tried already you could try a mixed grip - i.e. one hand facing you and the other away. Of course - I also agree that you shouldn’t always go to failure.

i would suggest incorporating some direct grip work into your exercise routine. Poliquin did an excellent article which contained a good grip building program, i beleive it was titled “can’t add size to your biceps? try working your forarms” search the archives for it.

strengthen your grip directley,
i train mine with standing finger extensions with palms facing body,and bar hangs.
now i have no grip probs

I use a mixed grip and chalk, then switch to wrist straps as I get into heavier weight. I have been able to increase my lifts and improve my grip with this method.

I don’t want to question your routine too much but why are you going to failure on the deadlift? Unless you’re training to compete in the deadlift, your setting yourself up for an injury. I’ve been deadlifting for years, without any injuries, and I’ve never gone to failure. As for your grip, if you want to stay away from straps, try doing “holds” in a rack on back days when you aren’t DLing. Place the pins about knee high, load up the weight, pull into the top part of a deadlift, and either 1) do a single rep and hold the weight until failure, trying to add time/weight each week, or 2) do 10 reps and hold the weight at the top part for a count of 4 - 6 “one thousand.” If your gym has a bar that’s thicker than the others, use that one. You’re not going to get the gripping strength needed for heavy deadlifts from wrist curls.

I had the same problem when I started to powerlift. Although I agree you shouldn’t be going to failure on the deads, going heavy is good. Work your wrist strength and use chalk with an alternate grip. If you have a bad workout environment and the bars have a little persperation on them, spray some magic grip on them and then use the chalk on your hands.

2 suggestions. Use chalk. That helps the grip a lot but doesn’t eliminate the benefit to the forearm muscles like straps will. Also it will piss off the gym owner. Secondly, do some clean/jerks. This won’t help your grip, but when you drop one of those from overhead, he’ll be glad you’re only dropping deadlifts. On a related topic the kids at my old college, as soon as they got bumper plates and a platform started throwing! their power cleans down to make maximal noise. what fun.