T Nation

Protecting Delicate Little Handsies


#1

The mrs has a fucked up hand. She has an RSI or something and it's affecting her deadlift.

Are there any grips or straps or something that you guys could recommend? Her hand's killing her every time she tries to deadlift, and I'd rather that we just took the hand out of the equation instead of stopping the exercise.

I know you can get hooks and shit like that. Are they any good? Is there anything else?

Thanks guys.


#2

Straps are an option but they don’t completely take the grip out. I used to know a guy who used hooks and it worked very well for him. Just keep in mind that they make letting go impossible.


#3

Hooks are awful. Plus I just simply can’t trust them. Plus they put a lot of strain on the wrist. Might not be a good option in your case. It could’ve just been the ones i’ve tried and there might be some better ones out there.

Deadlifts aren’t the same unless those “handsies” are wrapped around the bar. Just my opinion.

What is RSI? Some form of carpal tunnel or something?

Has she tried getting massages? An experienced massage therapists wouldn’t be a bad idea. I know when they focus on my hands and wrist area they feel ten times better afterwards.


#4

My girl has hand issues as well, a bit of early arthritis i guess. She can barely move her hands after deadlifting. I just bought her a $10 pair of plain ol’ straps from Dick’s sporting goods and she says it makes a world of difference.


#5

[quote]nighthawkz wrote:
Straps are an option but they don’t completely take the grip out. I used to know a guy who used hooks and it worked very well for him. Just keep in mind that they make letting go impossible.[/quote]

I know a dude who used to use hooks as well, but I’m just not sure I trust them…


#6

[quote]Steez wrote:
Hooks are awful. Plus I just simply can’t trust them. Plus they put a lot of strain on the wrist. Might not be a good option in your case. It could’ve just been the ones i’ve tried and there might be some better ones out there.

Deadlifts aren’t the same unless those “handsies” are wrapped around the bar. Just my opinion.

What is RSI? Some form of carpal tunnel or something?

Has she tried getting massages? An experienced massage therapists wouldn’t be a bad idea. I know when they focus on my hands and wrist area they feel ten times better afterwards.
[/quote]

yeah you and I are on the same page regarding hooks.

RSI = repetitive strain injury. She had to have an operation on her wrist and now the tendons are all fucked up. It is probably a good idea for her to get some soft tissue work on her forearms but she’d never do it.


#7

[quote]TX iron wrote:
My girl has hand issues as well, a bit of early arthritis i guess. She can barely move her hands after deadlifting. I just bought her a $10 pair of plain ol’ straps from Dick’s sporting goods and she says it makes a world of difference. [/quote]

aye straps are probably worth trying, but she’s not using a huge amount of weight and if her hand’s already killing her then I’m not sure if they’ll be enough. Definitely worth a try, though


#8

Hooks feel weird. At the top it almost feels like the bar could “jump” out of the hooks.

Straps are cheap and easy to get. But sometimes people(women/beginners) have trouble getting them tight on the bar. There are also “old school” straps that are more like a loop you just reach through. I have been loving these lately.

-Your girl could try just stretching her wrists/forearms.
-You could work on them for her.
-Maybe some work for the forearm extensor muscles. Reverse curls or reverse wrist curls or wrist roller going “knuckles back.”


#9

Figure 8 straps might be the way to go. Pretty much completely remove grip from the equation. Going to put a lot of pressure on the wrist though, so be aware of that.


#10

I have lifting hooks and lifting straps.

The hooks were just for extended hangs from a pullup bar, but they do work for deadlifts. It’s something of a weird feeling, and they’re kind of a pain to actually use, but the grip is completely out of the equation.

The Harbinger lifting hooks, blue hooks, have a padded wrist wrap, and they cinch down tight. The weight is distributed pretty evenly, so you’re not getting any real pressure points as you would with most straps.

As far as safety, there’s enough mechanical friction around the wrist and the hooks are plenty strong. I trust them at least into the upper 300lb range, which I’m guessing she’s not working with.

If you need to completely avoid any grip at all (you can still put your fingers around the bar though), I would suggest those. They take some time to put on and remove since you need to make sure the bar is snug in both hooks on each hand, and vice versa for unhooking them. Assuming she’s controlling the eccentric, this shouldn’t be an issue other than time.

If some grip is ok, then there’s also the “Harbinger Big Grip Pro” lifting straps. They have a rubberized coating on the straps themselves, and are padded around the wrist in the same way. You can get some weird calluses, but basically they’re designed to give you as much mechanical advantage grip-wise while still being straps.

(I own and have used both.)

As far as just general hand/wrist stuff, depending on the issue, I’d also look into doing a few sets of finger extensions with a rubber band throughout the day.


#11

Hey Yogi -

I broke down and bought a set of Versa Gripps earlier this year, trying to get more lat activation in my pullups by trying to take my forearm, biceps and traps off line a little bit. I really like them for other pulling movements like DLs and BB rows too. They can take your hands almost completely out of it, but like all straps, they might put stress on her wrists. For bench press, I still just wear a padded set of gloves. I sometimes get really sore hands, and pushing movements - having the bar pressing down on my palm - seems to be harder on my hands than pulling.

The Versa Gripps are expensive (about $60 on Amazon), but they are pretty nice. For reference, I bought the Pro model with the 1.5 inch wrist straps. I almost always need an extra small in everything, but my wrists are on the bigger side so I needed a small in these.

Here’s a demonstration video. He claims to be able to do a lot more pullups with them. Ha! Not true for me. They make my pullups harder since I can’t turn them into such a biceps move, and have to recruit more of my super lame lats.

And here’s a video of Penny Price McIntosh using them on chest and back day. You’ll see, she pushes them out of the way and uses them as wrist straps when she benches.


#12

[quote]Yogi wrote:

[quote]Steez wrote:
Hooks are awful. Plus I just simply can’t trust them. Plus they put a lot of strain on the wrist. Might not be a good option in your case. It could’ve just been the ones i’ve tried and there might be some better ones out there.

Deadlifts aren’t the same unless those “handsies” are wrapped around the bar. Just my opinion.

What is RSI? Some form of carpal tunnel or something?

Has she tried getting massages? An experienced massage therapists wouldn’t be a bad idea. I know when they focus on my hands and wrist area they feel ten times better afterwards.
[/quote]

yeah you and I are on the same page regarding hooks.

RSI = repetitive strain injury. She had to have an operation on her wrist and now the tendons are all fucked up. It is probably a good idea for her to get some soft tissue work on her forearms but she’d never do it.[/quote]

Hooks are just weird. It seems everyone else feels the same. I know they make some heavily padded wrist wraps with straps attached to them. I used to own a pair but some bastard stole them. They were probably about 3" wide and about 1cm thick of dense foam padding. It help distibute the weight on the wrists a lot better and didn’t cause as much pinching. I lose straps left and right so it’s not worth it for me to invest in quality straps. The cheap harbingger work as well as I need them to.

Why would she not be about a massage?


#13

[quote]Yogi wrote:
Her hand’s killing her every time she tries to deadlift, and I’d rather that we just took the hand out of the equation instead of stopping the exercise.
[/quote]

What would she prefer to do (since it’s her wrist)?

When my wife had a hand/wrist RSI, she stopped deadlifting and concentrated on reverse lunges and GHRs. Once she was healed up, she started hitting the deadlifts again and quickly surpassed her old PRs.

My (and my wife’s) 2 cents.

In any case, I wish your girl a speedy recovery!


#14

Thanks for the responses, guys. I’ll go through them now:

-FF & Pwnisher - yeah those figure 8 straps might be a good shout, but like you mentioned I’d rather something that doesn’t put a huge amount of stress on the wrists, as it’s her wrist and hand that were operated on. She knows she should be doing rehab stuff but she just doesn’t do it.

-LoRez - awesome, mate! I’ll definitely look into both of those. Really appreciate it.

-PP - I’ve heard of Versa Gripps but had forgotten all about them. Thank you so much! I’ll check them out.

-Steez - Another vote for the Harbingger; I’ll definitely check them out

-S&S - she loves the actual exercise itself, which is why I’m trying to find a way she can do it pain free. Thanks for the good wishes!


#15

Can’t remember the brand, but the first set of straps I bought had thick padding around the wrist and were held in place by velcro. Were very nice as far as minimizing pressure on the wrists, but the velcro was not so good at holding as the weights got heavier. Might be a workable option for her case.


#16

[quote]Apoklyps wrote:
Can’t remember the brand, but the first set of straps I bought had thick padding around the wrist and were held in place by velcro. Were very nice as far as minimizing pressure on the wrists, but the velcro was not so good at holding as the weights got heavier. Might be a workable option for her case.[/quote]

thanks for the input, mate. I think I’m going to buy a set of VersaGripps. They seem like the best option