T Nation

More questions on the Hook Grip

I looked at the web page that was cited for a photo of the hook grip, but I was hoping for a few pointers from somebody who uses it. I’ve tried it, and I am certain I am not doing something right. I can’t get the hang of it. The bar wants to rotate towards my thumb, even worse than with a regular overhand grip. All of the pressure is transferred to the surface between my thumb and my other finger “pads”. OUCH, my thumbnails. My grip strength is lagging. I do chins, bent rows, and one arm rows with fairly decent weights and no straps. When it comes to deadlifts, my grip is a real weak point though. Does grip strength take longer to develop than other body parts? I thought the hook grip might help, but it is too painful to use. Thanks for any comments.

The hook grip is painful, but like most things, your body will get used to it. You just have to gut it out until your thumbs learn to except it.

when i first tried the hook grip it hurt a bit, no longer bothers me, but i am pretty sure i am doing it wrong because i cannot hold much more with the hook grip vs. regular. in fact i find snatching to be more comfortabel with the reg grip than my version of the hook.

Here there, you ought to not worry so much about the hooks and start training your hand strength if that is the problem. You ought to check out using fat bars (2-3 inch bars) and some other gripping exercises. Filling a bucket with sand or rice and then gripping the sand or rice for reps (needs to be very high reps at that) will help out a lot too.
If you still want to use a hook grip try taping a piece of padding on the inside of your thumb and across the area where it is pinching. It also may be that you are pressing in with your thumbs, may just need to relax them a little more and then they will get out of the way. Anyway give a couple of those things a try. Good luck.

The pain is pretty normal when you’re first learning the hook grip. The only thing I can think of that could be causing the bar to roll torwards your thumb is if you don’t get appropriate arm and wrist position. You want to turn your elbows down and roll your wrist over the bar so the bar is resting partially on your fingers, not entirely on your thumb. This won’t help much with the pain, but it might help wiht the bar rolling back towards your thumb.

What is the hook grip?

Thanks for the replies. All of the pressure is getting transferred to the “top” of my thumbs (the thumbnails that is) which leads me to believe I haven’t gotten the knack of it yet. If someone can help me with this at the NY T-cell meeting, I would be grateful. I did “get” the idea of keeping the wrists biased a little more “forward” to prevent the bar from rolling. And I also agree that I do need lots of plain old hard work, and a hook grip is not going to be a band-aid on my problem. To Pat, I am obviously not the right person to explain the hook grip. But basically it’s a way to reinforce your overhand grip on a heavy bar, by essentially “trapping” your thumb, which sort of “closes the circle” of your grip to reinforce it. At least that’s my understanding.