T Nation

Deadlifting Grip

In the section about Dr. Mike Hartle in the SWIS report by Chris Shugart, he states that not mixing up your grip will cause a muscular imbalance in your back. I have been using the same grip (left forward, right back) for 5 years and havent expierienced any problems that I know of. Does anyone have input on this?

I’ve never heard of that before. I’ve been doing deadlifts religiously for the past year, and off and on for a couple of years before. I’ve always used the supinated-pronated grip. I’ve never noticed an imbalance in my back either.

I can't think of any reason that this would cause an imbalance.

it kinda ‘physically’ makes sense that one grip favors one side of the body more than the other. You may not notice any ‘weaknesses’ or imbalances, but after you finish looking at yourself in the mirror, try doing some ‘balance’ exercizes. I think he mentions standing on one foot until it gives out, then trying the same thing on the other. You might notice yourself ‘falling’ in one particular directions of favoring one particular foot. So the superficial stuff (muscles) might look balances, but try out that exercise and see if it really is.

I’ve heard this before, I think from Poliquin, maybe King. Anyway, I heard using one grip all the time could lead to a bigger chance of a biceps tear or some other injury.

this is common sense… of course it’s going to cause an imbalance. You’re probably too used to it to actually notice the imbalance.

Good topic, horace! I’ve heard this statement echoed
on more than one occasion. If memory serves me right,
Ian King pushes the snatch grip deadlift in all of his programs.

I am a frequent dead-lifter and would love to employ the
snatch grip. Unfortunately, in my case, the snatch grip is totally impractical. Why? Genetics! I have a small frame, accompanied
by small hands and small, skinny fingers. When doing higher rep
sets 12 to 15, I use no less than 1.5 times my BW on the
bar. When training with low reps (4 to 6), I often use twice
my BW on the bar. (And for the infrequent double or triple… a bit more.) If I used a snatch grip, I’d barely be able to use, or better yet hold over 200 lbs for reps ; WHAT GOOD WOULD THAT DO ME!!!

My solution is to alternate hand-pronated hand-supinated
on every set; I don’t believe in hand straps!

IMHO - People who push the snatch grip DL were born with hands the size of catchers' mitts or don't pull much weight.

I developed an imbalance. I always deadlifted with my stronger right arm supinated and now my right lower back is noticeably larger, partly because the grip and a left-leg injury caused my to lean to the right a little. Maybe it’s not that bad with most people but now I have to try hard to re-balance, it is a pain.

think of how long it takes for a kid to develop a problem from tight hip flexors. You might not notice anything now, but you are reinforcing a specific pattern of movement on one side, and another on the other. Eventually, that can lead to some imbalances. I’d just switch it up.

I’m going to start mixing my grip… It makes sense to me that grip will change how and what extent certain muscle groups get worked. Think of being a running monkey that can still climb. Make yourself physically capable of everything that monkey would do. Jump, run, climb, swim, tumble, flip… this is what I use as a model of total functional strength. I imagine a gymnist might be close to this model but still probably too under developed in the legs… not sure though.

Try having one arm supinated and the other pronated for one set and then in the second set having the supinated arm from set one to pronated and the pronated arm from your first set to supinated.

I remember reading an article on Cyberpump some time back along the lines of imbalances imposed by a mixed grip that isn’t switched. This guy is squatting, and some one was watching him, and asked why he twisted to one side all the time. He wasn’t even aware of it, and when they finally traced the cause, it was a mixed grip that was only used on one side (i.e. it was always one hand that was supinated). He started switching the grip, and the squat twist disappeared. Ever since I read that article, I’ve made sure I switch my mixed grip every set.

horace, Dr Mike’s my chiropractor (imagine getting adjusted by a guy that benches 500 lbs :slight_smile: ). I’ll let him know this thread is out here; maybe he can comment, his schedule (which is considerable) permitting. While he and I haven’t discussed this particular issue, he’s quite the fan of balance; if you’ve seen his articles on “Sledgehammer GPP”, you know what I mean. Take care - T.E.