T Nation

Hook Grip Limitless?

Well that is the problem, technique is never perfect on bigger attempts and obviously people more experienced than me have had it happen. If they can’t get it right how could someone like me with do better?

Learn from their mistakes?

Lel if you could just stop having that defeatist/pessimistic attitude for a second…

Maybe improve form/technique to maximise safety and practice it every rep e.g. flexing triceps and externally rotating arm to minimise biceps.

Maybe don’t hit a true max or fail ever at least in training?

You could switch to hook grip. Welcome to the dark side my friend

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1-Accept the risk
2-Minimize the risk as much as possible
3-Switch to hook grip
4-Just quit.


Looks like Tom Martin is the latest lifter to switch to hook grip after tearing a bicep. There is an Instagram video of him pulling 849 hook grip the other day, you can find it on PLwatch or his IG page.

Torn biceps seem to be one of the most common powerlifting injuries, and the easiest to avoid. It makes me wonder why anyone pulls with a mixed grip at all. All weightlifters, including lightweight females, use hook grip so small hands isn’t really an excuse. I can understand if you have a hard time adjusting to it and you are already pulling a lot, but a torn bicep is a pretty shitty injury. If it happened to me, I wouldn’t b able to work for a while and I wouldn’t be able to drive. Plus you can’t really lift at all, maybe you could squat with a safety squat bar without holding it, but you would definitely need some competent spotters and you wouldn’t be able to load the weights yourself.

This is true for me. I’ve been competing with a hook for about 6 years. Most of my training is with straps to save my hands. Before I switched, my deadlift was beginning to windmill to my supinated side. I find the setup more advantageous with shoulders down. Lockout can be slow. My best in contest is 145 at 55. Not 800 but the limit is not grip.

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He’s a fucking tank. Changed it because he pulled 400 kg yesterday.

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Weightlifters don’t deadlift though. The record clean & jerk is 580lbs, the powrrlifting deadlift record is close to double that. Sure, they would pull more than that in training but you’re not usually overloading by 100%.

True, but:

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Is there anyone who started off with hook grip and later switched to mixed grip? I know some people tried to switch and couldn’t make it work, Mike T tried hook grip for a while because he had grip issues but didn’t go far with it. But did anyone actually start lifting with hook grip or pull hook grip for an extended period of time and then switch to mixed grip?

Oly lifters need the high security to stop themselves from losing control of the bar during the high force/ acceleration of the second pull.

The second pull may be brief but don’t underestimate the challenge to grip security it presents. A 580 Deadlift is less liable to rip the bar from your hands than a 580 C&J.

Wait… Kilos, pounds or years of age.


145kg at 55kg and 51 years…

Part of the point is that although I don’t have tiny, stumpy fingers, neither do I have large man hands and make it work quite well with my little lady fingers.


Maybe weightlifters. At least those who started as weightlifters.

About everyone else jumps onto mix grip at the first opportunity but weightlifters are taught hook grip ASAP. Maybe Mikhail Koklyaev cos I think he started his lifting career as a weightlifter but seeing as he pulls straps, hook and mixed in all kinds of disciplines I’m not so sure.

Not sure if he used mixed grip at all, but I know he has torn a bicep somehow.

Couple of vids around. Mostly of powerlifting comps.

Not a powerlifter, but I think the main reason most pull a bicep when using hook grip is a lack of flexibility to keep the under hand completely straight, and too much tightness within the bicep, causing a constant bend in the arm. Just being devil’s advocate here. I’ve used hook a little, but I couldn’t get into it. It does seem to be pretty limitless in terms of anything slipping out though.

Haven’t met too many people who couldn’t full extend their elbows actually, more dudes who could hyperextend actually lel. Cuing flexing the tricep fixes that real quick tho.

IMO grip and rip pulling styles without setting the elbow in a firmly locked position are pretty risky. Also as the weight gets heavy or bar speed slows down dudes be curling/jerking at the elbow to move the bar.

Jk. Why u no likey tho?

yeah that too. I’ve seen a ton of dudes at the gym whose arms naturally bend. Similar to how their shoulders aren’t back from a lack of back/rear delt work.

I dunno man, I just don’t feel as strong with it. I can actually get my lats and back tighter doing an over/under, probably just from years of doing it. I may startdelving back into it, but who knows. If i pulled sumo, I definitely would though. Over under feels like shit in sumo to me which is when I’d use it. As far as conventional goes, I’ve never had any issues with my under hand. And I don’t think I’ve ever lost a pull due to grip.

Ok, so Koklyaev is one guy who switched to mixed grip. He also tore a bicep, but I’m not sure if it was from deadlifting or some strongman-related thing. Apparently tire flips are a high risk for bicep tears, you have to supinate both hands to get the tire off the ground.