My first blog post is about a weightlifting technique that has changed the game for me in a positive way when it comes to smashing those big PR’s. It’s a simple hand grip technique that can make all the difference between winning gold or not placing at all.
The technique I am talking about is called the hook grip. Professional athletes and weightlifters all over the world use this technique with Olympic barbell lifts. The goal of using this technique is to prevent the barbell from accidentally slipping out of your hands during a heavy lift. It can be used during the pull motion of lifts such as the power clean, snatch, and dead-lift.
It might be a little challenging at first to get your grip properly adjusted but it’s a simple change up really. Instead of the normal overhand closed fist type of grip you will simply tuck your thumb under the bar and wrap your four other fingers around the bar and over your thumb enclosing it in a strong grip. You can then proceed with your normal pull and either readjust your grip in the finishing movement or hold that grip through out the entire lift. I have seen where some people recommend holding that grip throughout an entire snatch lift but when it comes to power cleaning most people due to comfort will readjust their grip at the top. Honestly it is only important for the heavy pull of the lift and the rest would be up to you and your own comfort level.
Of course the hook grip may seem very uncomfortable and awkward at first but as most people would agree you will eventually get used to it over time and it will become like a second nature to you. Besides adjusting to that grip through lots practice you can improve it by also taping your thumbs and using lots of chalk.
Yes, it may seem too easy to be true but when that weight starts to get heavy trust me you’re going to want to try it out. It can be all the difference between breaking that PR or not. For me it was the difference between power cleaning 295 or 315. My strength coach had always instructed me to use the hook grip with my lifts but I had found it too uncomfortable and therefor avoided using it as much as possible. It wasn’t until one day when I was trying to break my power clean PR that I found myself with the bar slipping out of my hands on the pull. My coach immediately urged me to change my grip so grudgingly did. Of course he happened to be right as always so as soon as I made the second attempt with the changing of my grip I was able to hit that 20lbs extra on 315lb PR. so saying that out of personal experience I highly recommend this grip style to every Olympic weightlifter out there and I hope it helps you just as much as it helped me.