T Nation

Hook Grip?


Serious how do you get yourself trained to use it? Tried for the first time in an attempt to lose the straps for Deadlifting and 275 felt like my thumbs would explode.


You pretty much just have to keep practicing it. If you have to, start out with lighter weight just make sure you're not just being a wuss about it before you do that. I've found that a hook grip after practice is inbetween the strength of my regular overhand and over-under. The advantage is that it can spare you shoulder and bicep problems and give you more symmetrical back development.

Since you've been using straps, it may be a bit rougher for you than it usually is which is still pretty tough.

Most who use it regularly seem to suggest using it for only low reps but I found higher reps really didn't give me any problems with the grip.


It always hurts the first time :wink:


I pull almost exclusively with a hook. It took a bit of getting used to but I don't feel it anymore. I feel like my deadlift set up is cleaner and more symmetrical. The only time in the recent past when I've switched to mixed is during seconds and thirds at an equipped meet.


Do it on your warmup sets and build up from there, like how some people recommend doing a double overhand grip then switching to mixed when you can't hold it any more, instead now you use the hook grip on your light sets until you can't.

And as counter-intuitive as this may sound, really try to crush the bar when you're gripping it, even on the light sets. Sometimes my pain was due to the skin splitting as the bar shifted in my hands. In that case, taping your thumbs may also help.


Just gotta keep using it, eventually it won't even faze you.


This is basically what I did today. Once I went to the 315 mark I just switch to mixed. I'll keep this strategy. Was even thinking of using it on my rows to get some more time under the belt so to speak.

Thanks for the feedback everyone, pretty helpful


Once you get used to it it'd hard to shake! I caught my thumb in a crossbow last weekend, my lifting has been week since, s
Had to go back to traditional and monkey grip til it heals


I think some people are more tolerant to hook grip than others. I made the switch to hook grip not that long ago and hit my mixed-grip PR in training two weeks ago. The hook grip seems to put me in a starting posture that feels much more natural to me.

In order to ease the pressure a bit I've been taping my thumbs with athletic tape and chalking up more than usual.


I've been using the hook grip, for a little over a year now and it has made a world of difference on how my back and hips feel. I started out using it for shrugs and one-arm DB rows to get used to it.


Never thought of taping my thumbs, going to try and also use it with rows/shrugs to build it up.

I am wondering, I'm not a big person and my hands are average size, when I grip my thumb, I ended up gripping the nail part, all I could grab, should I be trying to grab more on the knuckle? Wondering how I can pull that off.


One opinion from a random internet poster..fuck a hook grip.. in my mind this is sideshow shit akin to those guys picking up anvils with their dicks. Sure it can be done and it also hurts the first time doing it but WTF... just train your grip and lift the bar with your whole hand as the good Lord intended. Deadlifting is already hard enough. Why add another torture facet to it with this hook grip thing?


I'm interested in this as well, I'm beginning to feel a bit asymmetric in my back development from always pulling mixed. I feel quite weak double overhand, but when I try hook I cant really get a good wrap around my thumb. My hands arent all that big, and they are fat and sausagey.


It depends on what you find harder. I find it makes it easier for me. It feels faster off the ground and less windmilling and torquing at the top.


It definitely takes a lot of time to get used to hook grip. It took me many months because it kept tearing my hands up to the point of pouring out blood. Even 4 months in I had to tape my thumbs and hands to prevent profuse bleeding. But for me it was worthwhile because it never felt natural to use mixed grip and it is actually harder for me to hold onto the bar with mixed. At the beginning I would recommend only using lower reps because higher reps tend to butcher the hands more. Once your hands build up to it higher reps will probably be okay.


pulling double overhand has a lot of carry over to other lifts as well as more symetrical Developement. Pulling with a standard grip will not allow you to pull heavier loads without fighting the bar from rolling down your hands leading your focus on to holding the weight instead of performing on the pull. Straps are very painful after about 405+ which again is a distraction from performing. There is a reason why every champion and high level Olympic lifter use a hook grip. This is why I want to start training with it. Not for shock value or shits and giggles.


Try to dig the bar in as deep as possible into the webbing betwen the thumb and forefinger and then grip the thumb as far and as hard as you can with the first two fingers. Since it's mostly about the thumb and the first two fingers, I think doing some pinch-grip stuff on the side could also be of benefit.


Every Olympic lifter tapes his or her thumbs. Every single one. If you are tearing the skin off of your thumbs, you are doing it wrong.


Good info thanks.


So you know this for a fact? EVERY OLY lifter? lol. well, it sounds to me like you've made your decision. Good luck on killing your thumb and deadlifting when you should prolly just work on your grip. I double over hand and never have a grip problem even with heavy weights. you just have to work on it like everything else. Your goals, your lifts and your body. You asked for opinions and you got it. Take it for what it's worth.