Do you have to use the Hook grip,?! Well no but you also don't have to make gains. Obviously, I am joking but it does have a lot of benefits. First off let me explain what a hookgrip is if you don’t already know. A hookgrip is one of the few ways to hold a barbell. Grab a barbell in a pronated-grip (palms facing you) and make a peace sign. Now take your index and pointer finger and wrap them on top of your thumb. Confused yet? Yeah me too, lets use a picture below, so you can get the picture.
Now that we have established what a Hookgrip is, why would you use it?
Using a hookgrip will allow you to do two things:
- Hookgrip allows you to hold onto the bar longer, for quicker barbell cycling in a metcon style workout.
- Hookgrip creates a firmer, tighter grip under a heavier barbell load.
This style of grip transfers the weight from your palm to your forearm, and acts as a hook. The barbell no longer feels like it wants to slip through your fingertips. Overtime, your hook grip develops, moving heavier loads with ease and moving loads quicker becomes smoother. Using a hookgrip can transfer into a faster turnover in the Snach and Clean. In the Sport of Weightlifting speed is king!
The biggest complaint I get with using a hookgrip is that it hurts your thumb. I’m sorry to tell you but there isn't much I can say other than it’s going to hurt for a while until you get used to it. However, there are some things we can do to help. My biggest recommendation is using tape around your thumb. In looking for tape there are three things to consider.
- First thing is Flexibility, using a hookgrip becomes a lot harder to do when you can’t bend your thumb.
- Stickiness, how well does it stick to your thumb and to your skin or is it just too sticky.
- Comfort, this is all personal preference. I have tried many tapes over the years and in my opinion and experience there are only two you should think to use
Vet wrap, is very flexible and only sticks to itself, which is nice because it doesn't leave any residue. However, I have found that it doesn't stay on very well because it only sticks to itself. My all time favorite is Lift Genie. It is the same type of material as vet wrap but it sticks to your skin much better and sticks with the previous criteria. The biggest downside is the price, on average it is about $4 per roll. However, vet wrap can be found on Amazon for about half the price.
Now start using that hookgrip!
Practice with lighter weight, once it becomes a habit, it will feel more natural and hurt a little less. Happy lifting & let the gains be ever in your favor!