T Nation

Hook Grip: How Much Should it Hurt?


I started out learning oly lifting about a year back with a good coach. I have a number of flexibility issues so I'm training alone now - safer that way until I have full mobility.

Anyhow, I was taught from the outset to use the hook grip. I was told it hurts at first - that I'd get used to it. I'm pretty good at ignoring pain, but I just couldn't get used to this. I've searched the internet for other people reporting pain in the same place as me, but I seem to be unique?

So, the webbed bit between thumb and first finger. At the inside base of the thumb there's a knobbly bit of bone (base of the 1st metacarpal ?) - that presses into the bar (especially with snatch grip) and hurts SO much. I persevered for a good 4 months but reverted to a normal grip as the pain was overriding everything else and tensing me up. A lump of hard tissue developed over the bone, but it didn't stop the pain.

Any thoughts? Do I just need to persevere with it? At what stage does it become important even - I don't want to put any limits on how far I go with Oly lifting, but lets just say I'm not going to be competing at the olympics!!


you should get used to it. May be tape that part of the web? that should help


Not to steal your post but iv alwas used a normal grip so hook grip all was feels uncomfortable, but i was wondering what are the advantages of hookgrip over normal?


You can use more weight.


As well as being able to relax your arms more.

Susani, keep working at it. Stretch out your wrists and fingers. Are you using a female bar? It's quite a thinner than a mens bar. Female bar is 25mm, and a mens bar is 28mm in diameter but the female bar feels much thinner in your hands.

I'd work on it and when it's really sore switch to a normal grip as well as do additional grip work. The pain will go with time.



I was using a female bar at the time I was trying to get used to hook grip. But now there's only a normal bar at the gym I use. That might actually be better for me. My hands are quite big for a woman - delicate boned but long boned. OK, I'll give it another go.



The bar rotates better and ultimately you can use more weight.


Susani, I remember starting with hook grip and it sucked! It was very painful. I remember I had a crap load of torn callouses too and at my first meet I tried using regular grip during the warm ups to save my thumbs and the coach yelled at me to use my hook grip and I was like but it fucking hurts!!!

BUT it didn't take too long before I was hook gripping everything I touched. You just have to get through it.



I never had any issues but I was lifting light weights when I was 15 so my grip wasn't an issue. Around that time I was also starting to rock climb as well.



Thanks debra.

Koing - it's not to do with the weight. Just gripping an empty bar with hook grip REALLY hurts. The wider the grip the worse it is. It's not friction or calluses - the bar digs into a bone at the base of my thumb.

My grip is pretty strong. I've done 670 pullups in a day - grip wasn't an issue, and can deadlift 100kg without needing to use an opposing grip.

People say taping helps, but it wouldn't help me as the bar would still press on that bone. I stuck at it for about 4 months and a lump of hard tissue built up (not a callus - a lump under the skin) over the bone, but it didn't lessen the pain any way.

Is it possible that the structure of my hands just makes it a bad grip for me?

Debra - does this tie up with the kind of pain you had, or was yours something different?


Odd. I've never heard of anything like that. Can you take a pic of your hook grip? My hand is rather meaty in places so I don't have the bar touching the bones of my fingers/ thumbs much.