T Nation

Unable to Hook Grip

Hey Thib

Bit of a silly question, but every time i hook grip,my thumb slips. I’ve tried taping the fingers but still. No pain, no discomfort but just cant hold it.

Do you have any cues how to hook properly?

Thanks a lot

I’ll take some pictures later today. You might be doing it wrong or have short fingers (which prevent you from having a lot of contact surface with the thumb) or a short thumb (which prevents you from getting at least two fingers on your thumb).

I can also be that you lack “thumb mobility” (I know how it sounds)… basically not being able to bring the thumb inward enough… this also prevents you from pinning your thumb with at least 2 fingers. This is “stretchable”.

Here is what I mean when I say that you need to have more contact surface between your fingers and thumb.

This first image has a small contact surface.

As you can see the thumb is pinned mostly by the middle finger with the index being in slight contact.

In this second picture the contact surface is greater.

As you can see the middle finger covers a larger proportion of the thumb and the ring finger (hard to see) is also pinning the thumb while the index has the same contact surface as in the first grip.

To do that I have to push my thumb more inward and that requires stretching the ligament. Here is the exercise I use to do it:

Push the thumb as far inward as possible (use the other hand to push it in if needed) and lock it in with the index finger.

Then laterally extend the wrist to stretch the ligament.

You can do holds or slow repetitions trying to increase the range of motion gradually. I like to do this prior to every session, but now it’s not necessary anymore.

Also the type of tape you use has an importance.

Here are two types of tapes. The white athletic tape has less traction because its surface is more even. The blue tape is a self adhesive tape which is more rugged and offers more friction which helps prevent fingers from slipping off of the thumb.

The white tape is also less pliable once put on the thumb. If he thumb bends less it is harder to get it deep inward and thus harder to get a good contact surface with the fingers,

The last issue is chalk… Even with a hook grip, chalk makes an AMAZING difference in how the grip holds up. The chalk works by drying up the skin which makes it less likely that your fingers will slip. This is even more noticeable when you use the “blue” tape.

I have small hands and grip has always been something I needed to work on. I actually studied the best tape to use, the best way to use it and how to optimize the hook grip.

Wow splendid answer coach, i’ll give it a try at tomorrows deadlift session. It’s an honor to make an appearance in your twitter :slight_smile:

Well you gave me the opportunity to come up with something that many will benefit from

Mostly what CT said . . .
and what I’ve found:
Cleans and light snatches, I can let my hand relax, the weight of the bar seats into the thumb . . .no probs.
Which kind of spoils you in the long run:

Heavier snatches I HAVE TO think about squeezing grip onto the thumb a bit more.

Heavier Deadlift ? . . even more so, squeeze/grip . . (not trying to rely solely on the hook)

I have the same problem, My hands are too small I’ve found out.
My friend told me he did 170kg deadlift without hookgrip (he didn’t even know what it was), and he did not use a alternated grip either, kinda of why he told me it…

I can depend on the barbell too. I mostly train on Olympic lifting barbells which are 28mm. I can hook grip fine on all-purpose barbells which are normally 28.5mm but with the power bars that are 29mm it’s harder for me.

My best recommendation would be to work on your grip strength with pinch grip deadlift holds and farmer’s wallks