WATCH: Painless Hook Grip Technique

TAGS: over under grip, switching to hook grip, my hands hurt, painless hook grip, deadlift setup, House of Biceps, clint darden, deadlift


Have you ever noticed that most gym rats can deadlift more with straps than they can without, even when grip strength isn't an issue? Have you ever seen a powerlifter attempt a heavy deadlift using an over/under grip and have the bar sway back and forth on the way up? Have you ever been to a powerlifting meet and seen a lifter lock out their third deadlift attempt, only to have the bar rip from their hands and invalidate the lift?

There's a way to avoid all of these problems, and it's called the hook grip. No more windmilling of the bar, no more asymmetry of your back, no more grip problems – and you might even take an inch off your deadlift.

If it sounds too good to be true, that's because a lot of lifters think it is. Despite all of the positive aspects of using a hook grip, there's one significant deterrent: pain. When done incorrectly, the hook grip can cause tremendous thumb and finger pain.

In this video, Clint Darden demonstrates how to setup for a painless hook grip. Clint's deadlift has recently been on the rise, which has brought attention to the fact that he uses a hook grip. Though Clint doesn't have a deadlift bar, he uses weightlifting bar and is still able to use the hook grip.

Clint shows that the position of the wrist must be different than for an over/under grip. And contrary to popular belief, you don't want to wrap your thumb all the way around the bar with a hook grip. Instead, you want to extend your thumb as far as you possibly can and line it up with the bottom of the bar. This will allow the pressure from the bar to go into the meatier part of your thumb rather than the joint and bone. The pain will start to go away and your deadlift will start to go up.

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