The Benefits of a Hook Grip for Barbell Lifts

The hook grip on a barbell is not utilized enough, but it has many benefits for weightlifting. The hook grip makes the biceps work harder and allows strict form to be maintained that ultimately leads to greater strength gains. It also provides good forearm pressure which can help athletes maintain proper posture without having their back round during lifts. Lastly, the hook style of the lift gives better leverage when trying to pull bigger weights off balance or in competition settings.

The “hook grip vs normal grip” is a debate that has been going on for years. There are many benefits to using the hook grip, but it’s not for everyone.

Man holding rode.

Grip becomes a limiting issue when you raise your weight in the deadlift or Olympic exercises like cleans and snatches. The bar tends to roll in your hands as the weight grows larger, making holding onto it for the entirety of the lift difficult, if not impossible. One approach to get around the deadlift’s restrictive grip is to use an alternative grip — or “mixed grip” — with one hand supinated (underhand) and one hand pronated (overhand) (overhand). As the bar begins to roll out of the pronated hand’s fingers, it also begins to roll into the fingers of the supinated hand’s fingers, and vice versa.

The mixed grip has the issue of asymmetrically loading your shoulders. Internal rotation is held by your prone arm, whereas external rotation is maintained by your supine side. During the pull, the barbell spins away from you, creating a “windmilling” sensation on the supine hand. Windmilling makes the lift inefficient and tough since you have to use more effort to control the bar. A swinging bar may also pull your back out of extension by making it more difficult to raise the bar. 

Also, while doing Olympic lifts, you cannot employ a mixed grip. So, what should a serious lifter do?


This is where the hook grip comes in. 


A hook grip is achieved by wrapping your thumb around the bar and then placing your fingers over it. This traps your thumb between your fingers and the bar, causing greater friction between your hands and the bar, resulting in a better grip. The hook grip is first awkward, but your hands soon adjust. 


Here’s a basic rundown of what this should entail:

Step1: Wrap your thumb around the bar first.

First, wrap your thumb around the bar. 

Step 2: wrap your fingers around your thumb.

Then encircle your thumb with your fingers. Only cover the top of your thumb with your fingers, remaining above the first knuckle. Your fingers should feel like they’re dragging your thumb even tighter around the bar. 

Step 3: Don't simply press down on your thumbnail.

Don’t just push your thumbnail down. It hurts more and doesn’t help you with your grasp.

Step 4: Don't press down on the top of  your knuckle.

Also, don’t push down on your knuckle’s top. That aches as well.



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The “hook grip small hands” is a technique that is used for barbell lifts. It allows for the user to keep their elbows close to their body which prevents injury and provides better leverage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do lifters use hook grip?

What lifts should you use a hook grip?

A: This is a tricky question. I am not sure what hook grip means, but the most common types of lifts are handstands and muscleups. For both of these movements you need to use hooks that have little loops that allow you to tie your thumb around them in order to get better leverage on the bar for those exercises specifically.

Is hook grip beneficial?

A: Hook grip is a way of gripping the controller with your thumb and index finger to give more control in Beat Saber. It can be helpful for people who have smaller hands but it requires some practice, so you should try it out before trying too hard to master the technique.

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