T Nation

False Grip

A friend of mine is a serious proponent of the false grip, when it comes to high rep pull ups and deadlifts. According to him it will help you hold the bar for a longer time when doing pull ups and deadlifts. He says that it will put less stress on your forearms.
What do you think about that? Is there a place for the false grip in your training?

I am not an expert and am probably wrong but but I would think a hook grip would be better for deadlifts. Many powerlifters use the false grip when benching. It is also good for skull crushers and tricep pushdowns. My trainer prefers me to use a regular grip when benching because he feels the danger out weighs any benefits.

The false (open) grip sucks for back exercises because it makes your grip weaker, not stronger. Almost no one does a false grip on deads. It puts more stress on the forearms because you have to work harder to grip the same thing. Next time you watch a strongman comp see how many people do a false grip on a farmer’s walk.

Some people like a false grip on a bench but that is more personal preference. It is also illegal in a comp and not nearly as safe so generally go with a closed grip except for things like tricep pushdowns and skull crushers

I did pullups today and notice I do use a false grip for them.

[quote]cvb wrote:
I did pullups today and notice I do use a false grip for them.[/quote]
Me too, I’m used to doing it, but I don’t know if I’m right.

I can only see the false grip being useful for hammer curls, reverse curls, skull crushers, triceps extensions and maybe pull-ups.

As a matter of fact I’ll start using the false grip for my heavy isometric hammer curls.

As for Deadlifts and the Bench Press. NO!

As one poster said the risks outweigh the benefits. I agree.


A false grip is very tough to do on reverse curls (unless you use straps) because the weight just wants to fall out of your hand, your thumb is the main thing holding it on.

For pull-ups don’t use an open grip if you have any kind of grip issue or if you are going heavy, unless you are intentionally trying to train your grip using that exercise. For maximum pull-up performance you a closed grip.