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Mixed Grip DL = Injury?

I’m concerned about a possible biceps tear from mixed grip DLing, because I have at least two people that go to my gym regularly and have one or both biceps torn from mixed grip DLing with heavy weight.

I haven’t let this stop me from deadlifting heavy, but I want to know what the general consensus is here as to what risk may be associated with deadlifting with this grip style.

I’d just like your input from experience because I’m considering getting my grip strong enough for overhand DLing. THe only problem with this would be that it could halt my DLing progress, which is exactly what I don’t want to happen. . .

I’m at 420 lbs. and I want a 600 lbs. pull in the next 2-3 years. :slight_smile:

Well Im sitting here with a blown Bicep tendon and will say prior to it blowing one of the few exercises I could do that it didnt hurt on was mixed grip DL never felt bad. and I was a bit over a 600DL when I blew it doing atlas stones after cleaning a log, pulling 600 x 3 on DL kegs and then lightest damn thing of the day 240 stone blew it,. it had felt bad in the kegs and log not the DL again

The main thing YES your risking it if your lifting heavy damn weights your always at a risk. on thing on DL dont bend your amrs dont try and curl the bar at all keep them twigs locked out

stay safe but yes there is a risk many a ppl have blown tendons puilling heavy but I have yet to see a PL reocrd etc pulled withiout a mixed grip.

I will say if your not looking to compete etc then screw it go DBL over hand and use straps less risk but dont expect the carry over to the sport

Phill

[quote]Flow wrote:
I’m concerned about a possible biceps tear from mixed grip DLing, because I have at least two people that go to my gym regularly and have one or both biceps torn from mixed grip DLing with heavy weight.

I haven’t let this stop me from deadlifting heavy, but I want to know what the general consensus is here as to what risk may be associated with deadlifting with this grip style.

I’d just like your input from experience because I’m considering getting my grip strong enough for overhand DLing. THe only problem with this would be that it could halt my DLing progress, which is exactly what I don’t want to happen. . .

I’m at 420 lbs. and I want a 600 lbs. pull in the next 2-3 years. :)[/quote]

Sorry to hear that Phil, does it require surgury?

perhaps try using a hook grip, once you get used to it, its much easier than regular db overhand, i use it for all my pulling stuff

[quote]beebuddy wrote:
Sorry to hear that Phil, does it require surgury?[/quote]

Yes sir was in cast 8 weeks now limited movement in splint for a month and then slowly get rolling again

Phill

[quote]Phill wrote:
The main thing, YES your risking it if your lifting heavy damn weights your always at a risk. one thing on DL [/quote]dont bend your arms[quote] dont try and curl the bar at all keep them twigs locked out

Phill
[/quote]
Yes, read that, and then re-read that again. This is the primary cause of a biceps tear in the DL.

[quote]Phill wrote:
Well Im sitting here with a blown Bicep tendon and will say prior to it blowing one of the few exercises I could do that it didnt hurt on was mixed grip DL never felt bad. and I was a bit over a 600DL when I blew it doing atlas stones after cleaning a log, pulling 600 x 3 on DL kegs and then lightest damn thing of the day 240 stone blew it,. it had felt bad in the kegs and log not the DL again

The main thing YES your risking it if your lifting heavy damn weights your always at a risk. on thing on DL dont bend your amrs dont try and curl the bar at all keep them twigs locked out

stay safe but yes there is a risk many a ppl have blown tendons puilling heavy but I have yet to see a PL reocrd etc pulled withiout a mixed grip.

I will say if your not looking to compete etc then screw it go DBL over hand and use straps less risk but dont expect the carry over to the sport

Phill

[/quote]

Thanks for the response. I’m sorry to hear about your injury :confused: I’ve read a bit and apparently you can be back at heavy lifting in three months or so. Not near as bad a lay off as some injuries. Albeit bad just the same as any.

Yeah I guess it’s given that there’s risk in any heavy lifting, but I’m still at debate with myself as to whether or not I should change my grip. Hearing that yours didn’t occur from heavy mixed grip DLing tells me that it may only be from trying to pull the bar up with your arms, as you said. Makes sense when you consider the function of the biceps in the first place.

Thanks again, and good luck!

[quote]brian.m wrote:
perhaps try using a hook grip, once you get used to it, its much easier than regular db overhand, i use it for all my pulling stuff[/quote]

I’ll have to look into exactly what a hook grip is. . .

Thanks for the suggestion!

[quote]Modi wrote:
Phill wrote:
The main thing, YES your risking it if your lifting heavy damn weights your always at a risk. one thing on DL dont bend your arms dont try and curl the bar at all keep them twigs locked out

Phill

Yes, read that, and then re-read that again. This is the primary cause of a biceps tear in the DL.[/quote]

That’s certainly good to know.

If I were to decide to switch to full overhand training and really don’t want to use any straps, then how should I integrate grip strength training into my workouts? I need a stronger grip to even think about heavy overhand dling. I think I can deadlift 315 once before my grip dies overhand. . .

I’m doing the Waterbury Method right now, and I’m on the fourth week. I may switch my routine up soon, maybe go a month where I don’t follow any specific training program and just go for some kind of progression with sq/dl/row/overhead press with a few assistance exercises.

Should I throw in grip training after I do some heavy pulls and just do that weekly? Would it be better to just train it on a rest day as purely assistance work?

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

When you use a mixed grip do you switch hands periodically?

When using a hook grip, how deep do you wrap your thumb under your other fingers? Just the tip, or up past the knuckle?

Thanks

[quote]Flow wrote:
Modi wrote:
Phill wrote:
The main thing, YES your risking it if your lifting heavy damn weights your always at a risk. one thing on DL dont bend your arms dont try and curl the bar at all keep them twigs locked out

Phill

Yes, read that, and then re-read that again. This is the primary cause of a biceps tear in the DL.

That’s certainly good to know.[/quote]

Perhaps the primary cause of bicep tears in beginner of novice lifters.

I know of no experienced lifters that bend their arms when pulling. They simply handle too much weight to make this possible.

The primary reasons for biceps tears in seasoned lifters (full meet lifters with more than 10 meets under their belt) I have seen are as follows:

  1. Improper technique, in particular while tire flipping.

  2. Neglecting to train the biceps. The last two well known PL’s I have spoken to who tore a bicep both said to me in effect, “I basically dropped all bicep work and that was probably a mistake.”

  3. Wear and tear. Overtime, deadlifting can be hard on the body. It can sometimes be a chicken or the egg thing. What came first? The pull where the tendon popped or the cummulative trauma that made it happen.

Mixing up the hand placement of your mixed grip and using an overhand grip for the majority of your accesory pulls is probably not a bad idea.

In fact, we use straps for our accesory pulls and only use mixed for the core exercise and none of us have grip problems.

I personally rotate my mixed grip every training cycle (6-7 weeks).

Hook gripping 600lbs…rather you than me!

It can happen to an experinced lifter

pretty cool video other than the last part…

[quote]KO421 wrote:

It can happen to an experinced lifter

pretty cool video other than the last part…[/quote]

I was referring to bending the arms during the actual lift. Not as a means to generate force or encourage flexing of the bar before the weight leaves the floor.

This isn’t an entirely uncommon technique among conventional pullers

However, this guy is a professional strongman and to say his deadlift technique or the grip he chose caused the tear is a bit of a stretch.

This guy beats the hell out of his body on a regular basis beyond what most of us can probably comprehend and in addition to DL variations I am sure trains both tires and stones.

Injuries like these are basically part of it and it is a poor example to base an opinion on IMO.

Strong pullin, that is for sure.

[quote]apwsearch wrote:
Flow wrote:
Modi wrote:
Phill wrote:
The main thing, YES your risking it if your lifting heavy damn weights your always at a risk. one thing on DL dont bend your arms dont try and curl the bar at all keep them twigs locked out

Phill

Yes, read that, and then re-read that again. This is the primary cause of a biceps tear in the DL.

That’s certainly good to know.

Perhaps the primary cause of bicep tears in beginner of novice lifters.

I know of no experienced lifters that bend their arms when pulling. They simply handle too much weight to make this possible.

The primary reasons for biceps tears in seasoned lifters (full meet lifters with more than 10 meets under their belt) I have seen are as follows:

  1. Improper technique, in particular while tire flipping.

  2. Neglecting to train the biceps. The last two well known PL’s I have spoken to who tore a bicep both said to me in effect, “I basically dropped all bicep work and that was probably a mistake.”

  3. Wear and tear. Overtime, deadlifting can be hard on the body. It can sometimes be a chicken or the egg thing. What came first? The pull where the tendon popped or the cummulative trauma that made it happen.

Mixing up the hand placement of your mixed grip and using an overhand grip for the majority of your accesory pulls is probably not a bad idea.

In fact, we use straps for our accesory pulls and only use mixed for the core exercise and none of us have grip problems.

I personally rotate my mixed grip every training cycle (6-7 weeks).

[/quote]

apwsearch, with your experience, I’m sure you would know better than most, so I’m not arguing with you.

I’m not trying to say the primary cause of a biceps tendon tear is from bending the arm in the DL.

I chose my wording carefully to say the primary cause of a biceps tendon tear when deadlifting was from bending the elbows.

The primary cause of a biceps tendon tear could very well be from all of the things you listed.

If you watch that video, on all of his heavy attempts, he does not take the slack out of the bar, he dips slightly, relaxes his elbows and yanks on the bar.

I would hazard to guess that the majority of biceps tears during the deadlift happen to inexperienced lifters with poor form.

Not to hijack this thread, but I had a couple of questions regarding mixed grip with deadlifts, and figured this would be the most appropriate place to ask.

I use double overhand as much as possible, and only switch to mixed at the end (350+).

  1. Should the hands be spaced evenly? I find the most comfortable position is with the underhand side a little wider on the bar than the overhand side. Mistake?

  2. I switch sides (under/over, then over/under) every set. Is this how you guys do it - or do you stick with whatever side feels best?

[quote]Modi wrote:

apwsearch, with your experience, I’m sure you would know better than most, so I’m not arguing with you.

I’m not trying to say the primary cause of a biceps tendon tear is from bending the arm in the DL.

I chose my wording carefully to say the primary cause of a biceps tendon tear when deadlifting was from bending the elbows.

The primary cause of a biceps tendon tear could very well be from all of the things you listed.

If you watch that video, on all of his heavy attempts, he does not take the slack out of the bar, he dips slightly, relaxes his elbows and yanks on the bar.

I would hazard to guess that the majority of biceps tears during the deadlift happen to inexperienced lifters with poor form.[/quote]

Yeah, neither am I. I’m just offering a different perspective.

My perspective is that guys like the lifter in the video provided yank the bar for 2 reasons.

  1. Attempting to generate speed and accelerate through the bar, or 2. attempting, as you stated, to pull out the “slack” and also encourage the bar to bend upwards before the plates break the floor thereby reducing the distance the weight actually travels which, in particular with a DL bar has the added effect of causing somewhat of an oscillating effect (whip) to the bar as it travels upward which can provide momentum.

I consider the lifter in question pretty experienced so my thoughts would be he is doing this for a particular reason. In that case, he just takes his lumps.

On the flip side of this and in concurrence with your last statment, we see this all the time in new lifters, in particular if they have been taught to powerclean and have not deadlifted much. They really struggle with keeping the arms straight during the movement and usually want to start from a pretty slack position.

Bottom line, keeping the arms straight is good advice to a novice lifter, for sure.

BTW, good luck on your upcoming contest. I will be watching to see how it went.

I was just throwing the video out there, I wasn’t implying he did anything wrong.

Strongman training is hard on the biceps that is for sure.

[quote]Phill wrote:
beebuddy wrote:
Sorry to hear that Phil, does it require surgury?

Yes sir was in cast 8 weeks now limited movement in splint for a month and then slowly get rolling again

Phill[/quote]

Sorry to hear about that Phill.

I have been there buddy…5 years ago. Make sure to get lots of physio now that the cast is off.

I was lucky…have regained most of my strength…but now it is a mental thing. I don’t push it near as much as I used to.

Best of luck in your re-hab.