T Nation

Hook Grip: Pros and Cons

#1

The suicide grip thread got me thinking about other grips that I haven't tried before.

Who here uses the hook grip for bodybuilding purposes? I use straps on a few exercises such as rows and deadlifts, but was wondering if I could do away with them by using a hook grip.

I tried it out the other day when doing romanian dead lifts, and the hook grip felt a bit awkward. I'm sure it takes some time to get used to.

If this grip is mastered, I'm sure it will have some carry over to grip strength as well (extra bonus) while doing away with lifting straps that I am inevitable going to lose sooner or later. Thoughts?

#2

I use a hook grip for double overhand barbell work that I don’t want to use straps for. I’ll usually do my warm up sets and first 2 sets of rack pulls with a hook grip before putting straps on. It hurt my thumbs a lot in the beginning but you’ll get used to it. It also helps to have big hands (I don’t) but I guess having big hands will give you better grip no matter what method is used.

#3

I despise the hook grip probably because my hands are not overly large and my grip is weak right now.

Is it really that much better for grip strength? Why not just wrap a towel around the bar to make it thicker?

#4

“Grip strength” here is not about getting stronger. It’s about choosing the grip that allows you, in the present, to hold the most weight.

#5

[quote]PonceDeLeon wrote:
I despise the hook grip probably because my hands are not overly large and my grip is weak right now.

Is it really that much better for grip strength? Why not just wrap a towel around the bar to make it thicker?[/quote]

Hook grip increases friction (index finger rubbing against thumb nail) making the bar easier to hold, not harder.

#6

I’m not interested in the hook grip simply because of grip strength. If I’m training deadlifts, I’m going to want to use whatever helps me lift the most weight so I can give my back a beating–and right now, that is straps. I can train grip later.

But if a hook grip allows to lift about the same weight as with straps, then I would choose hook grip over straps because of the added benefit of (most likely) stimulating the forearms more.

I’m not sure what the disadvantes are to a hook grip and why more people (besides O-lifters) don’t use it.

The only thing that I could think of is that it may affect the thumb negatively, but that’s a total guess.

#7

Mixed grip is stronger for me than hook grip. But I stopped using a mixed grip because I was developing an aesthetic imbalance. Nothing is going to be stronger than straps, especially if you are going for multiple reps.

#8

The downside is it hurts like hell and takes awhile to master. It helps to have bigger hands, but that’s true of every grip.

The upside is you can hold onto more weight and start your pulls with your hips a little higher.

#9

I’ve been told it can lead to thumb problems.

I stick to mixed grip or straps if necessary. Just personal preference.

#10

I only tried the hook grip a few times. I have long fingers so I thought it would be a good grip for me.
However I was actually weeker with a hook grip. I’m sure if I had stuck with it I would have gotten stronger.
The main reason I stopped was because of how awkward and painfull it was for my thumb(maybe I wasn’t doing it right). It felt like I was pulling my thumb apart at the joints.
I do have hyper flexible thumbs though.
I just use a mixed grip on heavy lifts and alternate to kepp it even.

#11

Have anyone tried the reverse hook grip yet? It offers the benefits of the hook without its discomfort.

#12

In regards to aesthetic imbalance … about a year ago I was noticing the same thing since I only used mixed grip … so the manager of the gym I went to at the time (best gym I’ve ever been to btw) came over to me and saw me kind of psyching myself out on a set of dl’s …

I told him that I was trying to mix up my grip and had just started back trying to lift with an overhand grip and i wanted to avoid using straps as much as possible (personal preference) … he asked about mixed grip so I told him I was seeing an imbalance in strength … he suggested just reversing the pattern I was most comfortable with (ie left hand pronated, right hand supinated)

Well, I tried it out and a year later it def. helped correcting what I viewed as a problem. It took a little while to get used to but I was able to lift the same weight I had before …

so to make a long story short, have you ever thought of reversing your mixed grip?

#13

I find the hook grip most useful for explosive lifts where it’s important to accelerate the bar. I don’t find it to have much advantage unless you’re doing a lift that involves cleaning the weight to your shoulders. For DLs, rows, shrugs, etc. I prefer the mixed grip. I switch the orientation of my hands on every set.

#14

[quote]Kruiser wrote:
I find the hook grip most useful for explosive lifts where it’s important to accelerate the bar. I don’t find it to have much advantage unless you’re doing a lift that involves cleaning the weight to your shoulders. For DLs, rows, shrugs, etc. I prefer the mixed grip. I switch the orientation of my hands on every set.[/quote]

I’m curious about how you do rows with a mix grip. sounds awkward.

I can double overhand more than I can row anyway.

#15

I’ve used hook grip since the start although I came into lifting from rock climbing so my grip’s pretty good. I love it for deads I tried other grips for a while but they just don’t feel right or as strong. Granted I only deadlift 240 at 145ish but I definately get a massive forearm pump form it, besides, mixed creates imbalances and it seems like a bad thing for your supinated elbow. I guess the only important things in my post are: It feels more natural, gives a good forearm workout and I reccomend it.

#16

[quote]elesde wrote:
I’ve used hook grip since the start although I came into lifting from rock climbing so my grip’s pretty good. I love it for deads I tried other grips for a while but they just don’t feel right or as strong.

Granted I only deadlift 240 at 145ish but I definately get a massive forearm pump form it, besides, mixed creates imbalances and it seems like a bad thing for your supinated elbow. I guess the only important things in my post are: It feels more natural, gives a good forearm workout and I reccomend it.[/quote]

That’s a good point, but when I’m doing deads I could give two shits if my forearms pump or not.

So I use straps or hook straps depending how heavy I decide to go. I wonder how much you’d be able to dead if you used straps.

I use suicide grip on most of my movements. The hook grip, for me anyway, always feels super weird. Course now that I read this thread I’m going to try it tonight on something and see what happens.

#17

I personally love the hook grip. I switched from the alternating grip to the hook grip months ago, and I’ve never looked back.

I don’t see any real disadvantages with it, besides a sore thumb, but that seems easy to solve IMO; just get used to it.

Besides Snatch-Grip Deadlifts and Kroc Rows, I don’t use straps anymore for anything, same as with the alternating grip. Whether it’s deadlifts, cleans, dumbbell rows, or shrugs, the hook grip is the way to go for me.

#18

Newb question. What does the hook grip look like? I have never used it.

#19

I even use hook grip for my bench press.

#20

I tried this Friday…

the topside of my right thumb has been numb to the touch ever since. I really think I ripped a nerve in half or some shit.

edited