The hookgrip is a method of holding a barbell used mostly by Olympic Weightlifters. The bar is held in the hands with the fingers wrapped over the top of the thumb to lock it in place. Most people can wrap 2 fingers over the top of their thumbs which forms a solid hookgrip. For those who already know this you haven't stumbled upon this for no reason keep reading and I will tell you how to make your hookgrip even stronger!
Stop holding the bar like this!
Why should you use the hookgrip?
The hookgrip is extremely beneficial for weightlifters because it allows the bar to be locked into place and does not let the bar roll into the fingers. With a conventional grip the bar can roll into the fingers when tired or during fast acceleration of the barbell which can lead to missed lifts and not allowing you the lifter to get as much weight on the bar.
What do I do with the hookgrip when the bar transitions over my head in the Snatch or onto my shoulders in the Clean and Jerk?
When performing either of these lifts if it feels good to keep the hookgrip then go for it. If your thumb rolls out as the bar rolls over in your hands that is fine too. So long as control over the bar is maintained there is no right or wrong answer. Personally I like to keep the hookgrip when doing workouts with fast repetitions and light weights as it is easier to go faster without having to move the bar in my hands. If the workout calls for heavier weights and slower reps I know I can afford the time to transfer the grip and re hookgrip the bar as I cycle the bar down for the next rep.
How long will it take to get used to?
If you have been lifting with a conventional grip for a period of time and want to transition to using the hookgrip it will take a couple for weeks to get used to. When I transitioned to using the hookgrip I dropped back the weight I used for the first couple of weeks so I could solely focus on nailing the grip before I even bothered stepping back up in weight. As soon as I did step back up in weight I hit PR’s within the first week because the grip felt so much stronger. I felt I wasn’t using my arms to lift the bar and was delivering all the power generated from my legs into the bar due to my arms not bending.
What is the best way to improve strength in your hookgrip?
This is my number one tip for my clients when trying to improve strength with their hookgrip. If you’re like me you know what your max clean or power clean is. Let’s say for example my max clean is 275lbs and my goal within the next 6 months is to clean 300lbs. To ensure that my hookgrip strength is not going to be a problem when I get here i will incorporate deadlifts into my training and practice using the hookgrip on all sets until I reach say 310 or 315lbs so i know it is strong enough to clean 300lbs when the time comes.
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