T Nation

Deadlift Problems, Small Hands

[quote]Ertz86 wrote:
I just hate using straps because I want it to stay as authentic as possible. My grip is always getting worked as well, I try to work my grip atleast 3-4 times a week.[/quote]

Perhaps I misunderstood your goals.

When you train, is your goal to make progress, or to make the lift as authentic as possible? If it’s the latter, don’t sweat the grip strength/small hands issue, and just keep lifting what you can. If it’s the former, you’re going to most likely have to make some sacrifices along the way, and that will include training in ways you don’t particularly like.

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:
I’m curious why none of us are considering the possibly that a persons hands may be thicker than another, and that this too can contribute to hand size issues when it comes to grabbing a barbell.

There is far more at play here.[/quote]
I agree that it’d definitely help to know the guy’s height, weight, and general fat level, as well as how much he’s actually deadlifting/squatting/benching for some perspective.

But he first said “small hands”, not pudgy fingers, fat palms or whatever. 8 inches from middle fingertip to base of palm isn’t really small at all, so I’m inclined to think the guy’s reaching for an excuse.

No excuses I just want to see if there is some ways to help if you have smaller hands, Im 5’6’ 180 lbs with 14-15% bf. My palm is definitely bigger than my fingers. Like I said, i have no excuses, just looking for advise to see what other people think about how to train grip with smaller hands.

Get chalk

[quote]dt79 wrote:
Get chalk[/quote]

This too. Most people tend to think it’s one or the other, but chalk mixed with straps is vital.

[quote]Ertz86 wrote:
Im 5’6’ 180 lbs with 14-15% bf.[/quote]
Okay. And what’re you lifting on the big three exercises?

Search box brings up over 5,600 results from as recent as last month to a few years ago:





Long story short, I’m glad to see I’m in good company, considering Wendler’s take on the situation:
“I personally think you are looking for a excuse. You can always find an excuse if you look hard enough. But it’s even harder to find a winner. Which one are you?”

How am I looking for an excuse? I literally just said I just need advise… aka im at a sticking point someone know anything that can help me push through this? an excuse would be me saying yeah I can never pull more than now because of my hand size. I never said that. I stated this is what Im working with what can I do to improve.

[quote]Ertz86 wrote:
No excuses I just want to see if there is some ways to help if you have smaller hands, Im 5’6’ 180 lbs with 14-15% bf. My palm is definitely bigger than my fingers. Like I said, i have no excuses, just looking for advise to see what other people think about how to train grip with smaller hands. [/quote]

I think the best way to train grip is by directly training it, rather than attempting to indirectly do so through other exercises. Do some timed holds with a barbell and get some captains of crush grippers and close them for reps/time and you’ll do well.

However, this will heavily tax your grip, which will impact your ability to grip things in training.

Have you tried using a hook grip?

[quote]T3hPwnisher wrote:

[quote]dt79 wrote:
Get chalk[/quote]

This too. Most people tend to think it’s one or the other, but chalk mixed with straps is vital.[/quote]

I thought it might ease his transition into the “unauthentic” lol.

Didn’t know about chalk mixed with straps. Will try it in a couple of days.

[quote]Ertz86 wrote:
How am I looking for an excuse? I literally just said I just need advise… aka im at a sticking point[/quote]
For the third time, what weight are you deadlifting that’s such a sticking point because of your “small hands”?

[quote]an excuse would be me saying yeah I can never pull more than now because of my hand size. I never said that.

I believe that my main problem with my deadlift is that I have small hands.
[/quote]
Literally your first sentence was you thinking your small hands were causing the problem. Especially for a guy your height, you don’t have small hands. A weak grip is not the same as small hands. Weak grip can be improved, small hands are something people are stuck with.

Im stuck at the bottom, just getting it off the floor no matter if its conventional or sumo. I can squat in the high 400’s, yet my dead lift on a good day is in the high 300’s. Once I can get it off the ground I have no problem pushing my hips through and locking out and holding the weight.

I have small hands for a guy, and I dont think it affects grip strength unless you are using a thick bar. In fact, the thick bar (axle) has done wonders for my grip. I use it for Romanian deadlifts.

FYI, with hands that are under 8 inches at 5’9" I can pick up about 180/190 in each hand and walk about 100 feet with 1 drop, so Id say my grip is pretty strong for a causal lifter.

I think I used 180 when I did that walk, to be precise.

A couple things.

First, if you have trouble breaking the weight off the floor but can lock out once it’s off the floor, it doesn’t really sound like a grip problem. There’s absolutely no reason that you can’t pull 400 with small hands (which I don’t think you really have). If you were talking about pulling 800, then a discussion of hand size may be more relevant.

Second, wrist wraps and wrist straps are two different things. Wraps are typically used to support the wrist in pressing or squatting movements and just wrap around the wrist. Some people use these on deadlifts to support the wrist, but I don’t imagine you get much of anything out of them. Wrist straps are wrapped around the bar in the opposite direction of you fingers. You then grab the strap. This absolutely helps grip and will typically help most people increase their deadlift.

Third, I’m 5’9" and measure about 8 inches from my wrist to the end of my middle finger. I wouldn’t say that I have a particularly strong grip, but I can handle 300lb farmer handles and have pulled 405 double overhand with chalk. I don’t think that grip is really your problem, but if it is, you should be able to overcome it.

My advice is to get chalk and then do more deadlifts double overhand.

when I go to get dumbbells I can grab 190’s easy and hold them. Like I said its pulling off the ground, maybe im just being a lil bitch haha.

I know the difference between wraps and straps, and double overhand? thats a good idea thanks.

[quote]Ertz86 wrote:
when I go to get dumbbells I can grab 190’s easy and hold them. Like I said its pulling off the ground, maybe im just being a lil bitch haha.[/quote]

You can use 190lb dumbells but can’t deadlift 400lb?

What?

[quote]Ertz86 wrote:
maybe im just being a lil bitch haha.[/quote]

Ding ding ding!

You can’t change the size of your hand. You can increase your grip strength; go do that.

Honestly, the more you talk about this, the less it seems like it has anything to do with grip. You’re weak off the floor. That’s completely different.