THE THREE MAJOR DEADLIFT GRIPS
BY GAINZ STAFF
The Deadlift is one of the most basic and important strength training exercises. The Deadlift’s ability to strengthen the legs, arms, and back at the same time also makes it excellent for general health and fitness.
If you dedicate yourself to this exercise, grip strength will almost certainly become a factor at some point. Knowing the different grips will make it easier to continue to increase the weight of your Deadlift without resorting to the use of straps.
The standard grip for Deadlifting is the DOUBLE OVERHAND GRIP. Most lifters will want to grip the bar with the hands just outside the legs, which is typically a bit wider than shoulder width. The double overhand grip is a balanced and safe way to hold the bar, and it should be used if possible.
The problem with double overhand grip is that it relies on pure hand and forearm strength to keep the bar steady and secure. If the weight is too high for the arms and hands to control, the weight may wobble or slip out of the fingers. The best option is to use double overhand grip until the grip starts to fail.
“WHEN STANDARD GRIP FAILS, MIXED GRIP AND HOOK GRIP ARE BOTH HELPFUL WAYS TO COMPLETE DEADLIFT REPETITIONS WITHOUT STRAPS.”
Once hand strength becomes a limiting factor, it is best to switch to a different grip. The MIXED GRIP hand position is favored by elite lifters like Benedikt Magnusson, an Icelandic powerlifter who set a world record with his 1,015 pound Deadlift. Mixed grip, also called “overhand-underhand” and “staggered” grip, involves supinating one of the hands so that the palm faces away from the body. Doing so puts five strong fingers on each side of the bar, preventing the rolling and wobbling action that can occur with a double overhand grip. This extra bar security can make a big difference in getting additional weight off the ground.
While the mixed grip is a good way to instantly solve grip problems and lift more weight, there are some downsides. In some cases, mixed grip can lead to muscle imbalances, most often in the latissimus dorsi muscles. There is also more potential for biceps tears with mixed grip. If a lifter tries to put part of the weight of a heavy Deadlift on the supinated arm, the biceps muscle in that arm can be severely strained. This problem can be avoided by using proper form and keeping the supinated arm extended, but it is still a good idea to use double overhand grip if possible.
“USING EITHER GRIP WITH PROPER FORM WILL ALLOW YOU TO CONTINUE TO GAIN STRENGTH, HEALTH, AND FITNESS WITH THE DEADLIFT.”
Another option is HOOK GRIP, a highly effective hand position that is often overlooked in the general fitness community. Hook grip is actually the preferred grip in Olympic weightlifting as it increases the strength of the double overhand grip without disrupting the symmetry of the arms. A hook grip Deadlift begins with wrapping the thumbs tightly around the bar with the palms facing the body. The lifter then wraps as many fingers as possible around each thumb. Hook grip increases grip strength by creating a sturdy hook with the thumb that is further reinforced by the fingers. The only downside to the hook grip is thumb pain. Squishing the thumb against the bar on a heavy Deadlift will definitely hurt the first time, but this discomfort will become less intense as the body adapts.
When standard grip fails, mixed grip and hook grip are both helpful ways to complete Deadlift repetitions without straps. Each of these hand positions has been proven effective by thousands of Dead lifters across the world. Using either grip with proper form will allow you to continue to gain strength, health, and fitness with the Deadlift. GAINZ
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