T Nation

Deadlift Grip

Hey, I have a question in reference to deadlift grip…i’ve noticed maybe people suggest the d-lift for functional strength. however, the grip is usually either the mixed grip, or with palms facing the body. but how 'bout with palms facing out, as if you were lifting the bumper of a car?? would this be more likely to cause some sort of shoulder/bicep injury, or just result in less overall weight used??



I am not too sure about this grip. When you start pulling heavier weights you will be prone to bicep tears. I personally pull with a hook grip after nearly tearing my left bicep with a mixed grip.

I would think that you would be more prone to bicep tears with that grip. If I am doing heavy singles with a mixed grip, towards the end of my sets, my biceps start to hurt down by my elbows. I switch grips every set so that I don’t favor one particular grip, but I still get the pain if I am doing multiple singles. Granted I’m kind of a bitch, and my DL is only around 425, but I would suggest switching over to a hook grip if you can. That’s what I am trying to do now. All of this is predicated on you training to lift the most weight. If you training solely for hypertrophy, the palms out grip might do some cool things.

Your grip will be too weak to hold any substantial weight with double underhand.


I’m a big puss but, I have been just holding barbell for thirty second to try and improve my grip. I have found that I can hold 225 with and overhand grip, but have to drop 90lbs off this when I got for one 30 sec set for the final set.
I guess my point is that the underhand grip is a lot weaker. I’m not working in the range that tears biceps but I think the underhand grip is weaker. It could use some training but for actual comepetition it may not be a great idea.
I have personally never understood why some many powerlifters use the mixed group. Whenever I ask they tell me that is just how it is done.


I use the mixed grip for all my deadlifts. I feel like I have better control. I dl 450 now and never have had a problem with bicep tears. So I say use the grip that feels the best.

hey guys, thanks for all your input. i think avoiding a bicep tear is gonna be a better idea than worrying about being a bit more functional.

i think i’ll go with the conventional grip for now, and work into the hook grip. thanks again!

It’s a reverse grip, or curl-grip, deadlift. I’ve been playing with them since I read about them in one of Dan John’s articles. I think that’s reason enough to give it a shot. Supposedly, they’re actually fairly common in some Oly lifting circles.

I know that when I do them, I get a crazy forearm and bi pump, from the constant tension they’re under during the movement. I’ve gone up to 245 with no elbow pain at all (but then, I don’t have any to start with. If you do, then you may want to avoid it.)

Usually I use a switch grip but last night I decided to try the hook grip.

And mind you I’m doing CW’s Hybrid Hypertrophy so I was doing 3x3 deadlifts at 6RM, 5RM, and then 3RM.

Holy shit, I’ve never felt any kind of tingling or numbness or general buzzing feeling in my thumbs in…ever.

Shit was intense, eventually the nerves in my thumbs will die and I’ll be able to do them pain-free which will be good.

[quote]chrismcl wrote:
…eventually the nerves in my thumbs will die and I’ll be able to do them pain-free which will be good.[/quote]

A new item for the list of things you’d only hear on T-Nation!!

In response to some of the posts above about biceps tearing and “reverse” grips on deadlifts, I think the problem is that when you rotate your palms, the biceps tendon gets wrapped around your radius, and that’s what basically makes your arms “weaker” and prone to problems. Same with pull-ups vs. chin-ups.

How do you prevent bicep tears

[quote]WhiteLable412 wrote:
How do you prevent bicep tears[/quote]

Part of any injury is bad luck. People have torn biceps with warm up weight, adn my training partner herniated two discs picking up a 30lb sump pump.

That being said, the old adage is that tendons and ligaments, having a comparatively poor blood supply (compared ot muscle) adapt slower than does muscle. So how do you get them to adapt? Eh, if youre really worried about it i’d suggest curls, followed by cheat curls, just to build up the amount of weight that your biceps (and beiceps tendons) are used to throwing around

I was told to use my weak hand facing out, and that seems to work. I don’t know why.
I do use both hands facing out for angled shrugs and short rows(just pulling the scapulea together). It feels good. Other than that, I don’t know why.

Was doing deads yesterday and felt a tear just below the elbow (forearm). Today it’s brused and inflamed. I’m hoping it’s just a mild tear.

I used to use mixed grip but after app 20 years of lifting my back started to feel “funny”. Haven’t had any problems since I swiched to overhand grip. When the grip becomes the limiting factor, usually around 350lbs, I use straps.

Can’t change the mixed grip because I got stabbed just over the elbow with some mervedamage (ulnar nerve cut) and extensive muscledagage (triceps) which makes it painful with the “reverse” mixed grip.