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The Hook Grip - Grip Series

December 07, 2020

how to hook grip

The hook grip is one of the most secure overhand grips but that doesn’t mean you should use it all the time. Let's take a dive into proper hook grip and when exactly it should be applied.

How to Hook Grip

Start by pressing the area between the thumb and the index finger into the bar, so that the bar is sitting in that crook. Wrap the thumb around the bar, and then place the index and middle finger over the thumb to lock it in place. These two fingers will sit over the thumb while wrapped around the bar, as the ring and pinky finger will sit next to it directly on the bar.

Most athletes will feel some discomfort when first trying out this grip. You probably won’t love the hook grip at first as you get used to it and you’ll probably feel some pain as your thumb is being stretched.

Give it some time to adjust and after consistent training, the grip will start to feel more comfortable and natural especially as the thumb stretches out. Eventually you'll find the hook grip an essential part of lifting. To ease into it, start experimenting with the grip while using lighter weights. You can also use thumb tape to limit the pressure on the skin (more on that below).

Weightlifting Hook Grip

When Should You Use a Hook Grip?

A hook grip should be used during the pulling portion of lifts like a snatch or clean from the floor or hang position. It’s best used in double overhand power movements when you’re moving weight quickly. It isn’t appropriate for more controlled movements like a bench press or back squat.

The hook grip should only be used during the pulling part of these lifts. Once you’ve caught the bar in front rack for example, the thumb should be released and you should take on a traditional grip especially for overhead movements.

Basically, its part of your arsenal in mixed grip scenarios like a clean and jerk. If you don’t release the thumb, you may end up putting unnecessary stress on your wrists and shoulders.

Why Use the Hook Grip?

The biggest advantage with this grip is the security a proper hook grip creates. During more powerful movements, you’ll want to be sure you have a firm grip on the bar so that you won’t lose it. A hook grip prevents the bar from slipping out of your fingers.

Since the bar is more secure in your hands, you’re also less likely to have too strong of a grip and create an excess of tension in your arms. On the flip side, it can help make up for a lack of grip strength on certain lifts, especially longer working sets. On top of the security, this grip doesn’t pull at your calluses. This means you’re less likely to face annoying callus tears.

When to use a hook grip

Taping and Other Hand Care Tips

As mentioned, when starting out, you may want to use athletic tape on your thumbs during heavier lifts in order to reduce some of the pressure on your skin. Try using the WOD & Done Thumb Protection Pack, which contains strips of heavy duty tape that are conveniently pre-cut. They make it easy to quickly tape and get going.

 To top that off, be sure you’re also keeping up with an athlete hand care routine to keep your hands in great shape. Check out our range of natural and innovative athlete skin care products that will help you maintain healthy skin. By using a proper hook grip and implementing an effective hand care routine, you’ll be hitting your goals while keeping yourself safe.

Check out our other Grip Series How To's and keep your lifts and hands safe!