T Nation

What Am I Doing Wrong with the Hook Grip?


#1

I have recently tried the hook grip. I am unable to fully supinate my hands and so mixed grip is not an option. I usually deadlift with straps for my heavy pulls (sumo). I have now started to add conventionals back in and wanted to give hook grip a go. I used very light weight but I wasn’t able to do it with the hook grip.
The problem was actually not the pain. I mean it wasn’t comfortable but I wouldn’t call it really painful at all.

The problem is that my thumb just slipped away. So I ended up switching from hook to doh grip after 4 reps.
I have very small hands and short fingers, especially considering my size but I guess I am doing something wrong because my doh grip is a lot stronger than my hook grip. I did not use chalk but still that can’t be it considering how little weight I was using.

Is there anything to it that I miss or will I get better with practice or do have any other idea?


#2

Chalk makes a big difference for me. Without it my hands slip and gives me a feeling like I’m going to get a blister. Chalk the shit out of your thumb around the entire thumb and youll notice a difference. If you start going heavy and it does hurt , try holds with a slightly thicker bar your whole hand will go numb then pulling on a deadlift bar feels like nothing


#3

Totally my Opinion:

You don’t really “practice” or “train” the hook grip. You just lift. At some point, you’re going to be pulling on the bar, your legs and back or traps will be able to handle the load, but your grip will not. In that moment, you decide you want that next rep, and THATS WHEN you hook grip!

In that Do or Die instant, you “learn” to do it. Its hard to “feel it” until you are about to drop the bar. When dudes grab a light bar to Practice, they tend to get their hands too tight, and get the barbell too high into the palms of their hands. And sorta cock their wrists funny. You need your hands and wrists to "hang like ropes, " like your elbows and shoulders do in a deadlift.


#4

I’ll chime in as someone with very small hands who switched to hook grip this year. I’m not lifting any serious weights but it took me about 6 months of using it consistently before I really started to feel it be as strong as a mixed grip for me. I used it while deadlifting (if it failed, i switched grips) and farmer carries. Recovery is important to as tendons in the fingers heal slowly. My thumbs were feeling beat for a while before a shoulder injury stopped me deadlifting for a month, when I started again, my hook grip was far stronger than it was before.

I say just keep at it and slowly work it in for more and more sets and heavier weight, it’ll progress just like any other technique. Chalk does help too but it shouldn’t be necessary to keep your grip on moderate weight, I usually only chalk up for amrap sets or stuff near 90%.