T Nation

Deadlift Grip

I’m right handed and my grip for a conventional deadlift is right hand pronated (facing down), left hand supinated (facing up). I was curious to see if anybody did things differently or has experiemented with success.

I don’t use a hook grip or straps; my goal is strength not impressive poundages.

I don’t compete in meets, so I just alternate and use both types of grips. It’s probably a good idea to switch it up sometimes. Not sure if the pro’s keep it the same, so they have consistency for their competitions.

Personally, I don’t use the alternating grip. My thoughts are if you use the pronated grip, this is the same set up as used in the Olympic lifts which should have carryover benefits. Unless of course, the alternating grip is used for a refreshing change to the CNS.

I would love to use a pronated grip for everything for the sake of carryover. Unfortunately my low back can handle a lot more weight than my hands. Ideally, I would like my grip strength progress on its own-so I don’t use straps, but I don’t want to limit myself to lifting only what I can hang onto for 8 reps.

You could use straps on DL’s to increase the resistance for your lower body, then just add some separate exercises for grip strength.

Once I got over about 250lbs I had to start using a mixed grip. Now I’m up to about 360lbs and find grip is an issue again. I’m also noticing that on near max days I need to make sure I get a bar that doesn’t have the knurl worn off of it.

Generally, my left hand is a little weaker, so I find that I can lift more if I suppinate the left. I generally do my first lift with the left pronated and then switch. I do sets of two or four… switching at the midpoint.

I won’t count a new PR until I can lift it twice… once with each grip. If I do chins or shrugs before deadlifting, I really notice the grip issue.

Anyway, it’s time for me to start putting some extra work into my grip. First to equalize it with the right and then to strengthen both so it doesn’t interfere with my dead.

I switch the hands on each set, because you backmuscles don’t get stimulated exactly the same with an pronated-supinated grip.
btw. when i don’t alternate, my brancho in my underarm gets inflammed, when I train with heavy weights.

I will echo some of the other replies on this thread. Usually I use a pronated grip until I start getting heavy enough for grip to be an issue. For many sets of heavy weights I will use an alternating grip and I switch hands every set. Max singles I will always use my stronger hand. On an interesting side note, I was doing high rep work S-L deadlifts the other day and experimented with a hooked grip. I don’t like the hooked grip for heavy sets, but it’s good when your grip gives out towards the end of a longer set. This would probably work for BB shrugs too, just a thought.

I Don’t DL now but when I did I always used the alternating grip even for warm ups. Grip was an issue for a while, but using shrugs as a supplementary lift (with alternated grip) gave me the opertunity to hammer the grip portion in a power rack, so that grip on DL was no longer a problem.
Best DL=255kg in comp @125kg
Best shrug ~310kg x 5 @125kg

Old Dax

Learn to hook grip. I will be worth it for the rest of your lifting life.

I also use double overhand grip until I get heavier. Then I use a right-pronated, left-supinated grip. But, I can’t imagine switching. I can reverse my grip for light weights, but I need the concentration of doing what I am comfortable with on heavy deadlifts.

I, also, see no problem with occasionally using straps. I personally feel that straps help more for high rep, endurance stuff. My grip is fairly strong where I don’t don’t gain much on my max deadlift using straps.

Home alone using a supinated grip,

I train with an overhand grip as long as possible even on heavy singles. Especially in the deadlift where you have the opportunity to reset between reps I think you should take advantage. My no-suit PR is 585lbs with an overhand grip.

If you really want to extend your grip endurance try doing a reverse hook-grip. basically instead of wrapping fingers 1&2 over your thumb, wrap your thumb over 1&2. I also throw in some pull-ups and chins with 1, 2, or 3 fingers.

All of that aside, I still use in an alternate grip in competition as it seems more secure and easier to lock the shoulders back for a perfect lock-out.

With this doing as many sets as you can double overhand before switching to mixed grip…

I found it very beneficial to try and get as many REPS as possible, even if that meant switching grips halfway through a set.

So my first few sets might be all double overhand, and then as my grip tired, I might get 3 reps double overhand, and then 2 with a mixed grip. Maybe the last set was all mixed grip.

And another thing that helps is rest/pause type training - when your grip starts to fail, rest between reps just long enough for it to recover, and do another rep. You can squeeze a few more reps out double overhand this way.

Here is an interesting article on mixed grips in the deadlift:



I’m always working my natural grip strength as much as possible but wouldn’t dream of limiting my deadlift (or shrug) to what my grip can handle. I start out pronated on both sides, then switch to alternated, then use straps as the poundages go up and the wrists and hands can’t ‘hang’ in there. The “Captains of Crush” grippers from IronMind are great for developing hand strength. If you’re after endurance, try doing chins hanging from a towel or triceps rope. Ouch!!!

Train your grip hard enough, and it wont be a problem even on your heaviest deadlifts.

The solution should be pretty simple, but the work is going to be hard.

Check out ironmind.com as they are the unquestionable kings of hand strength. Get a few of their very cool items, follow their advice and start working your hands hard.

Also, for “supporting” grip stength(most important for deadlifting), try hex dumbell holds for time(stand the hex bell on its end and then pick it up with one hand by “clawing” the end thats facing up), weighted pull-up bar hangs and very heavy bar holds(use a fat grip bar if available).

Hanging onto the bar is isometric-- it will not be effectively trained by doing reps with a gripper. My advice is just deadlift more, and do other heavy exercises such as rack pulls or heavy shrugs. Straps are rarely the answer, and if you use a lot of weight… well I don’t know how many of you have seen what happens when a strap breaks, but it ain’t pretty.

Are you using chalk on your deadlifts?

RIT Jared

i use a mixed grip once i get into heavier poundages. i also like to switch hands between sets, and when going really heavy i like to re-adjust my grip between reps. my grip strength used to be a hinderance to my DL, but not after i bought a captains of crush gripper and started adding grip specific exercises to my workouts…it made a huge difference!

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