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Grip Failing on Narrow Sumo Deadlifts. Have to Grip Smooth Part of the Bar

So I switched from convention deadlifts to an Ed Coan style of deadlifting with a narrow sumo stance. I love this form of deadlifting and feel it much more in my legs and much less stress on my back, as in none. Now, I did lower weight by a lot from what I was doing with convention. My issue now is, since I’m now gripping the smooth part of the bar, my grip is suffering and I have to do a rep, set it down and then do another rep; otherwise I’ll feel like I’m about to drop the bar. Are there any grip gloves that work well that I can buy? I rather avoid tape if I can, just so I don’t have to keep taping it once the tape starts to tear.

If you’re going to wear gloves then they better match your purse.


Right, because it’s not like companies texture the barbell so your hands don’t slip. I mean heh, it’s not like your hands get sweaty during a set. I mean hah dumb me, there’s no reason at all to have texturing on a bar. Why do companies take the extra time to texture bars when it’s unneeded? By the way, very helpful info asshole. If you read and actually comprehended what I wrote, I don’t have an issue gripping the bar on conventional, but do on sumo because I have to grip the part of the bar WITH NO TEXTURING. I guess you’re too much of an idiot to understand that.

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I’d yell at anyone if I saw them putting tape on a barbell at my gym

You know they make deadlifitng straps especially for this, right? I prefer leather straps

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I know, but what I’m basically asking is what are some good ones to use? I also really don’t want to stop building grip strength altogether.

Any leather strap is good. They’re sold as low as 10 dollars. I got different pairs that I rotate and leave out for other people at my gym. I got mine off EliteFTS and Amazon.

I strap up on anything other than a warm up and singles.Just to give context, my strapped max is the same as my comp max. I also have two fingers on the smooth of the bar for sumo, but it’s never given me problems in warmup sets.

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Which powerlifting federation allows you to wear gloves?

If you are posting on a PL forum about deadlifting with gloves then you are not going to get a positive response.


Thanks bud.

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There is no general training forum here, so I’m limited to posting in either the bodybuilding forum, or the powerlifting one. Deadlifts are usually proformed more for strength building rather than gaining size(though they obviously do that to) and I perform deadlifts for strength and not hypertrophy; hence why I posted in the powerlifting forum. If there was a general training form, I would have posted in that.

Bigger, Stronger, Leaner is the general fitness catch all.


Powerlifting or not, I’d ony wear gloves for deadlifting if they matched with a purse

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Member since 2015, eh? Okee doke.

And on topic, use straps or liquid chalk (since many gyms frown on chalk-chalk). Using straps for a few sets of sumo deads does not mean you’ll “stop building grip strength altogether.” Plenty of other exercises build grip strength indirectly. You can also train grip on its own, if we actually needed to spell that out.

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First, commending you for finding some new ground with sumo deads.

Secondly, you don’t HAVE to grip the smooth part of the bar. If you really feel that way, no problem.

@Chris_Colucci Made a really important point with straps. You can also start using hook grip. Basically the best way to deadlift, period. Granted you can (you should) cope with the discomfort.

Chris Duffin used Why Our Way straps for this very issue. They are a great product. Figure 8 straps would work too.

For grip strength, at the end of your deadlift workout, take some weight off the bar and pull a double overhand rep. Hold for time. When you hit 90 seconds, up the weight.

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It seems most who try to grip the smooth part even while sumo, are gripping too narrow.

Do you have narrow shoulders? I think the distance between knurling is like 17in. Try taking a video from the front. Many think that their arms are vertical, but find that they are coming in when video is taken from the front.

Even if you are that narrow, the benefit from gripping the knurled portion will out weigh the 1/4" ROM reduction.

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Just use straps. Deadlift-specific grip strength is irrelevant if you aren’t going to compete in powerlifting, and mixed grip is a risk for bicep tears. Hook grip is also an option, but you can only do so much with hook grip before your thumbs are totally fucked so you will have to use straps for at least some pulling. Also hook gripping high rep deadlifts really sucks. I use hook grip and I still do a good portion of my deadlifting with straps to save my thumbs.

If you are concerned about grip strength and you aren’t a powerlifter then just do other stuff for grip. Rows and chin ups will build grip strength, and the heavier and more reps the stronger your grip will get. Also farmer’s walks are good and translate to real life as well, you can use heavy dumbbells or a trap bar if you don’t have farmer’s walk handles.


Yet somehow I doubt you use the smooth part at all.

Do you intend to compete in a powerlifting meet in the near future?

No, I don’t.

There is no place for gloves in the deadlift. They will end up hurting your grip more than helping it.

You didn’t deserve the purse comments, but in a powerlifting forum, I am not surprised it happened. It would be better for people to say why you shouldn’t use gloves (not allowed in comp, worse than straps, probably bunch up and be worse than bare hand).

My advice to you is just use the knurled portion of the bar. You don’t need to grab the smooth part. Next, if that isn’t enough use chalk, if that isn’t enough use hook, if that isn’t enough / too painful, use straps.