WEIGHTLIFTING 101's: Why do we hookgrip? - Mammal Strength

WEIGHTLIFTING 101's: Why do we hookgrip?

By Jessica Gordon Brown / @jessicagordonbrown

First of all what is hookgrip I hear you ask? Well it's a method of holding the barbell when doing normal and Olympic Style lifts. It allows you to lift maximal weights without fear of the bar slipping from your grasp.

By trapping your thumb in with your fingers it enables you to lock in your grip which takes the strain off your wrist and forearms. The hookgrip can be achieved in 3 easy steps:

It takes a little bit of practice to feel comfortable using it at first as it can be quite painful on the thumbs. Using our specialist thumb tape can help to alleviate some of the soreness felt in the thumbs when using hookgrip. But the benefits far outweigh the slight inconvenience of thumb pain. 


  1. Provides a super reliable grip:

Potentially the largest benefit that comes with using hook grip is how secure it is. Once you get the hang of using it it can be more secure than using the traditional mixed grip for deadlifts.

Hookgrip is allowed in competition so is a great way to lift maximal weight without worrying about your grip being strong enough. It gives similar security to using lifting straps For this reason, powerlifters, weightlifters, and strongmen can compete with the hook grip because of its security.

       2. Multi-functional:

This grip style can be used with great results for every lifting style. So if your training involves heavy lifts like cleans, snatches, deadlifts, and overhand rows, you can use the hook grip for all of those exercises. Studies have shown the potential for increased power and force when using the hookgrip.

        3. Decrease Chances of Injury:

Biceps tears can be more common when you’re using a mixed grip. The mixed grip uses an open palm method, which can increase the amount of stress on the bicep tendon. 

Although the hook grip does not completely stop the risk of injury, it can put your biceps in a less vulnerable position. Therefore, it makes a staple grip style to help limit your risk of a potential biceps tear when going heavy.

           4. Less Forearm Fatigue:

Since utilising the hook grip doesn't use much force to actually hold on to the barbell it can help stop your forearm from getting tired out. When lifting heavy weight, you may find that your grip gives out before your other muscles do, but by using the hook grip, you can help decrease the bar slippage you may experience during a heavy workout.


Jessica Gordon Brown is an English weightlifter and weightlifting coach who currently competes in the -59kg category. Most recently, she has represented England at the Commonwealth Games taking home a silver medal.

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