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Old 04-17-2012, 08:05 PM   #1
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Default Hook grip, or not?

I've searched online and wanted to see what you guys thought about this...

Most sources demand using the hook grip, always, when performing the Olympic-style lifts. (Snatch and Clean and Jerk) To do otherwise, is to bring great shame upon your house.

But, like I did with mixed grip in powerlifting, can't I reserve hook grip for "maximal" (heavier) loads, so that everything less than can strengthen my grip?

Thanks!

EDIT: I was going to ask on a couple of other sites also, but I decided against it to avoid the backlash and minimal actual advice/thoughts.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:19 PM   #2
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Using a hook grip serves a few purposes:

1) Prevents muscling up the weight by making your grip on the bar better without involving your biceps and forearms as much.

2) For some, makes it easier to flip their elbows under the bar because it becomes easier to rotate the bar/arms forward.

3) Cuts out having to do extra grip work when the weight gets heavy.


I used a hook grip for a while until I got the hang out of getting under the bar. After that, I switched to a regular overhand grip for much the same reason that I like to jump up to the chin-up bar with weights on my belt...
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:22 PM   #3
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I am no oly lifter by any means but I normally dont even wrap my thumbs around the bar if I dont have to. At maximal loads I do use hook grip. My grip is pretty stupidily stong anyway so I dont hook grip too often.
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Old 04-17-2012, 08:51 PM   #4
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Cool, thanks guys. I was leaning toward using it only on heavier sets, and I think I will. My grip strength is pretty good, so I haven't yet been limited by my grip yet, especially since I'm using light weights at the moment.
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Old 04-18-2012, 03:49 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IronManlet View Post
Using a hook grip serves a few purposes:

1) Prevents muscling up the weight by making your grip on the bar better without involving your biceps and forearms as much.

2) For some, makes it easier to flip their elbows under the bar because it becomes easier to rotate the bar/arms forward.

3) Cuts out having to do extra grip work when the weight gets heavy.


I used a hook grip for a while until I got the hang out of getting under the bar. After that, I switched to a regular overhand grip for much the same reason that I like to jump up to the chin-up bar with weights on my belt...
Yep, I've read about this as well; besides, apparently, watching people use the hook grip is the best fun the trainers have

Also, for some people, letting the thumb nail grow a little bit longer helps, because it gives more surface for the fingers to contact with; particularly helpful for those with smaller hands, from what I've read.
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Old 04-18-2012, 04:26 PM   #6
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Good point by Iron Manlet. Just by switching over to hook on cleans prevented a noticeable amount of arm bend.
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Old 04-18-2012, 04:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miked96 View Post
Good point by Iron Manlet. Just by switching over to hook on cleans prevented a noticeable amount of arm bend.
Yeah. Hook grip actually felt more "natural" than regular grip when I was doing Cleans, probably because of that.
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Old 04-19-2012, 01:39 AM   #8
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All good thoughts in this thread. Only thing I would add is that it depends on the experience of the lifter, too.

If you've always hooked and your thumbs are already mashed into submission, then you can do as you will.

But, if you are new to it, you need to mash your thumbs as often as possible to get yourself ready for that ultimate phase.

It's not like alternate grip on deadlifts where you are correcting the spin on the bar with your hands and have to do it or your can't hold it at all. Your hands are fine either way. You either hold it or you don't.

But, if you wait until your lifts get heavy to hook, then your thumbs will suffer exponentially worse because you waited until the bar got heavy to mash them. They never got to build themselves up to the abuse they will take.

You wouldn't suddenly deadlift 300 with no warmup because your back would rebel, so why would you do that to your thumbs?

Practice makes perfect. You have to practice every part of an olympic lift exactly as it occurs in order to progress at an olympic lift. You can't just say I will start hooking when shit gets heavy.
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Old 04-19-2012, 06:07 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeM View Post
All good thoughts in this thread. Only thing I would add is that it depends on the experience of the lifter, too.

If you've always hooked and your thumbs are already mashed into submission, then you can do as you will.

But, if you are new to it, you need to mash your thumbs as often as possible to get yourself ready for that ultimate phase.

It's not like alternate grip on deadlifts where you are correcting the spin on the bar with your hands and have to do it or your can't hold it at all. Your hands are fine either way. You either hold it or you don't.

But, if you wait until your lifts get heavy to hook, then your thumbs will suffer exponentially worse because you waited until the bar got heavy to mash them. They never got to build themselves up to the abuse they will take.

You wouldn't suddenly deadlift 300 with no warmup because your back would rebel, so why would you do that to your thumbs?

Practice makes perfect. You have to practice every part of an olympic lift exactly as it occurs in order to progress at an olympic lift. You can't just say I will start hooking when shit gets heavy.
I'll second this. I spent a lot of time deadlifting with hook-grip last year and use it whenever I clean (not often). Takes a while to build up the tolerance, or did for me and it can be lost if you neglect it for some time.

I find my cleans are a lot better with hook grip and I can get my elbows up faster, but I don't do a lot of them, usually just warming up.

Also in regards to grip strength, if you've built up a strong grip with deadlifts you're unlikely to challenge it a great deal with cleans. I'm not sure what your routine looks like but you'll likely be hitting grip a lot more with rows, chins or some other pulling.
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Old 04-19-2012, 12:13 PM   #10
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I agree hook grip seems easier to use on Cleans.

I must be a freak, or doing it wrong, because the hook grip doesn't hurt me. Maybe it will with heavier weight, but so far, it's uncomfortable at most.
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