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Proper Deadlift Grip?


#1

Which is the proper way to hold the bar when you deadlift? I see some people hold the bar with one hand one way and the other hand the other way. And other people I see them hold the bar with both hands the same way. Which is the proper way?


#2

There is no "proper way." If by "one hand one way and the other hand the other way," you mean one hand supinated (under) and the other pronated (over), AKA, a mixed grip, that is fine, provided you switch hands regularly. That is, switch which is over and which is under, either every set or workout.

Both pronated is good too, but grip strength is a limiting factor. It's just easier to hold on with a mixed grip. If you have the strength to hang on with both pronated--go for it! Plus you have the bonus of not having to worry about switching and it evenly distributes the load. Greater stress is placed on the biceps muscle of the supinated hand in a mixed grip. Not a huge deal, but it can lead to a biceps tear in some cases if you're not careful (or even if you are careful).


#3

I prefer the mixed grip, and like bino said, be sure you're switching it regularly.

My favorite is to do 10 x 3 for deads, and switch my grip with every set.


#4

Yeah, mixed grip easily adds 30# for me.


#5

We start new lifters with a double overhand grip, and when they progress to enough weight, with good form, that they start to experience grip problems, we usually transition them to over under.

Every now and then you will get a kid who wants to try hook grip, and they either make it work, or end up going over/under.

In other words, if you can hold onto the bar, stick with double overhand. If you start to experience grip problems, over/under is probably your best bet.


#6

I progressed as apw mentioned. When I started doing deadlifts, I just grabbed the bar and lifted. Then, when grip became a problem, I asked around on the site and was pointed towards the mixed grip.

People also suggested working on grip strength... since it was the limiting factor.


#7

I'm glad you brought that up...my grip is always the limiting factor on deads. Any advice out there to improve grip strength?

By accident, I tried something new recently. After a set of pullups, one hand slipped off and I ended up hanging by just one hand and swinging (briefly!)
It seemed to really work the grip. What do you think?
I'd appreciate any other ideas you have...


#8

Chins, rows, and deads will all work the grip.

For more grip work you can hang for time after your chins, or lock out a non-max deadlift and hold it for time once you are done your set. I was also pointed at hammer curls if I remember correctly.

Do some searching on grip strength, I'm sure there are lots of threads and articles around.


#9

Try the Captains of Crush gripper from EliteFTS. The #2 is usually the standard for starting. I can hold onto 350 lbs on overhand grip and was recommended the #2 which is a struggle to close for me. There is also something called Power Putty used by rock climbers. Just check out EliteFTS and try pinching together some weight plates for time. That should get you started. Chalking up your hands and holding up hex dumbbells from one end for time will put a burn on your hands too.


#10

Thanks, I did a search of the site and came up with a great thread on grip...
T Nation never lets me down!
J


#11

i find doing towl chin ups to be awesome for working grip strength.


#12

I second this.

I prefer the mixed grip.


#13

I have found that my grip has always been my limiting factor as well but I always stayed with the overhand grip to let my grip develop. I since have started using a hook grip and my reps went up 20% in the first workout. I am probably cheating my grip a bit but find it a nice compromise between sticking with the overhand and working on my grip strength.


#14

I find most people do this too. I've decided to try to switch from mix to hook grip though, and I will tell you that it can be very painful with heavy loads as I haven't built up a callus yet. It can also be very secure and very beneficial once you get used to it.


#15

What vroom said. But I think the greatest way to work on grip strength as a weakness in itself is to rock climb. Either go to a rock gym, or find a place with those Tread-walls, or find someone to take you outside.

It's a hassle, but man it'll give you a great feeling, and it will strengthen you grip like very few things can. One note though, and that is to be careful not to over do it. You can get soft tissue issues if you're too gung ho. But it takes a lot.