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For many beginner weightlifters and powerlifters, hook grip can be a tricky skill. The main reason why all weightlifters in the world use the hook grip is that with this method of holding the barbell, the muscles of the arms, especially the forearms, do not get loose when performing a power position in a snatch or clean.

For those who are very worried that their palms and fingers are too short, we recall that even the lightest athletes, whose height barely reaches 150 cm, always use the “hook” grip.

What is important to remember when performing a “hook” grip? Taking the starting position to perform a snatch or clean, it is necessary to press the gap between the thumb and forefinger into the barbell as much as possible, and then grab it first with your thumb and then with all the other fingers of your palm. This will allow you to grip the bar even more. It is important to pinch your fingers in the correct sequence: first grab the bar with your thumb, then press your thumb with the other two and roll it a little more around the bar. Some athletes with a large palm manage to grab the thumb even with three fingers, while athletes in light weight categories are forced to press their thumb only with their index finger, and for this some of them even do a little “secret trick” – specially grow a thumbnail.

Many athletes who are just getting acquainted with the “hook” grip complain that it is quite uncomfortable. A common question is: how to get used to hookgrip? Of course, the easiest way to get used to the hook grip is to apply it to all snatch and jerk exercises. Over time, the hands and fingers will become familiar with it and this grip will be completely natural.

For example, high-level weightlifters train almost every day, and sometimes 2 times per day. Their training programs have a very large number of snatch and clean and jerk exercises. Therefore, they also use special straps to avoid damaging the skin on their palms. There are some training periods when athletes use less hookgrip and work more with straps.

Most often, athletes do this either when lifting maximum weights or when doing many reps while working to improve technique. In any case, already at the pre-competition stage, athletes almost constantly use hookgrip so that their training is as similar as possible to competitive conditions. High-impact weightlifting workouts can be found at There you can also find recommendations for which exercises or training periods it is better to use hookgrip or weightlifting straps.

One of the common questions: do you need  the “hook grip” all the time? The answer is this: the hook grip is important and necessary from the moment the bar is separated from the platform until the end of the power position  phase. After that, most lifters “open the grip” and hold the bar with a simple overhead or clean grip.

Another important tip is to wrap your thumbs with a tape. It is important to use a soft patch so that the joints can move freely. Using a thumb tape allows you to get more grip on the bar, which means a greater sense of safety.

In any case, keep using it as much as possible and as frequently as possible.


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Owner of Personal Trainer, Father and fitness copy writer. Working hard making the world fitter and healthier!

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