T Nation

Who Uses a False Grip?


I've been playing around with the false grip the last few weeks when back squatting but i'm finding it awkward so far. Its recommended in starting strength.

I also just read wendlers 5 tips in improving the press and he recommends a false grip. I haven't yet tried for OHP's. But plan to.


as in thumb not around the bar? im not sure i could get as tight without it


I have found it uncomfortable on squats in the past, but I prefer using false grip for OHP


I use it on squats as it makes my shoulders feel a bit better the next day. I don't really notice an effect on not being able to get as tight. I sometimes even have my pinkie in front of the bar if my shoulders are feeling especially tight.


I tried it for a while because thumb around was giving me wrist pain. I switched back when I got electric shooting pains in my hands after doing it for a bit.


OHP yeah, especially if I am using a thick axle, squats... that's just dumb in my opinion.




Your opinion is dumb. I've squatted much more comfortably with a false grip for a long time.


I tried it for bench for a month and my numbers using the false grip were still way lower. It seems to cause more triceps activation and less chest and is easier on the shoulders.


Yep, i had to do a google search myself after i seen wendlers "false grip" tip. :slightly_smiling:


Yeah i watched a vid of tate on youtube and he said there will be more stress on the arms/triceps and less on the pecs and delts with a false grip. I really don't plan on using it for bench presses. Squat and push presses i plan on working on it.


I use the false grip for strict/military pressing, but not when push pressing. I think that the false grip helps the most, when it comes to overhead pressing, in the first half of the press. For push presses and jerks, your sticking point will come in the second half of the lift. So, I don't think it's as important to use a false grip when push pressing but it's still ideal when military pressing.

When it comes to squatting, I feel that the hand/wrist positioning you use will be determined by bar placement. Rippetoe recommends the false grip because he trains all of his lifters to squat low-bar. When squatting low-bar, wrist flexibility/strength will become more of an issue and the false grip works well as a quick fix. For high-bar squatters, wrist flexibility and hand placement aren't as big of a concern because most lifters can comfortably use a standard grip with that bar placement. Basically, if you're squatting low-bar, a false grip is probably better. If you're squatting high-bar, use the grip that's most comfortable, which usually is the standard grip.


Thanks, what do you feel are the pros and cons of the high back squat and the lower one? I used to do the high bar but the bar moves to far pass my feet. IE i'm rounding my back too much with heavy weights. I can lift more with the low version buts its a bitch to get the bar real low, but i've since used a wider grip on the low bar squat so flexibility is not such an issue.


Well, the high-bar position generally is best for building athleticism and has better carry over to other lifts, but the low-bar position will allow just about anyone who uses it to immediately squat more weight. My thoughts are that if you're training for anything other than powerlifting, use the high-bar squat. I even think it's good for powerlifters to do the majority of their training high-bar and then move the bar down lower as specific meets get closer. I think the majority of people end up using low-bar all the time as an ego thing.

The high-bar position is usually used to squat with an upright torso and the low-bar position is used with more forward bend. If you were squatting high-bar and ending up hunched over trying to good morning the weight up, then you either have a flexibility/mobility issue or you have a muscular weakness. My guess is that you have a stronger posterior chain but have weaker quads. Since high-bar squatting is more demanding on the quads, you were probably trying to find a way to incorporate more of your posterior chain into the movement. You could start front squatting to build your quads up and try out high-bar again, or just stick with low-bar if you're happy with it.


x2. What a stupid comment.


Take a leaf out of Koklayev's book and squat using no grip then...

Nah but seriously, I use false grip for Low-bar Squatting as it's more comfortable, and I also use false grip for all OHP and also CG Bench (easier on RoM to get the bar to touch chest), but normal Bench I opt for a normal grip.


Koklayev - That's impressive, bit daft but impressive. Was very impressed with Koklayev in 2010 WSM. Shame he can't get to grips with the Africa Stone.

False grip wise, I use it on squats. Helps me get my elbows down due to wrist pain / flexibility. I don't think it is any less safe as you still have all your hand in place to stop the bar slipping.


Yes! i use false grip for both standing front press, strict or wiggly, behind the neck press (leg driven) and most of all on bench press & floor press, i never bench WITHOUT false grip. Absolutely love it makes a huge diff to the comfort of the lift for me, i'm pretty tri-dominant because of it and dont train triceps seperately but it's left me needing to hit my pecs seperately after bench.

Allows you to tilt your hands right back away from the bar providing a flat and very stable foundation for the bar to rest on; takes a huge about of pressure off the wrists as there's no give.

I grip the top of the bar with my fingertips, i've never dropped it! but i have seen a video of a guy not using false grip have his thumbs dislocate back and the weight stave his chest in, safety argument is not an argument imho.




wow, ok. In my opinion and experience I have no been able to get a proper grip on the bar when using a false grip on squats. I lose the feeling of overall upper back tightness. As a personal preference I think that using a proper grip will help control the bar better.

Again, all personal opinion and preference. As for Mischa's squats, it is a high bar squat and to use his no hand squat as an example is like saying sumo deadlift is improper because Andy bolton doesn't pull that way. Don't use an extreme example to try to moot a point when the point is actually an opinion that differs from yours.


I use the false grip most of the time; MP, BP (unless wide grip), Chins and BB Row (with straps) I even use it while reverse curling ('cos its harder that way). I don't use it when hammer curling or DB rowing.
Its all about comfort to me certain positions with a 'full' grip cause discomfort in the elbow, so I use a grip that is comfy.