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My Deadlift Grip is Failing...

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  • My Deadlift Grip is Failing...

    Awright, I've been focusing on bumping my deadlift weight up the last couple of months, and recently switched over to a hook grip to take strain off my biceps tendons (I used to use alternate grip, switching hands each heavy rep). Yesterday I pulled 355 several times, and my body felt fine, but I had to get the bar back down in a hurry the last two times I pulled it or I would've dropped the bar.

    I forgot to bring chalk to the gym, so I'll do that next deadlift day.

    Here's what I think is the main issue: I gots some stumpy fingers. Big meaty palms, but short fingers for my size. This makes playing the guitar a PITA, by the way. When I hook grip the bar only my index and middle fingers make contact with my thumbs, and just barely. I squeeze the hell out of my hand, but it's still hard to hang onto the bar with an overhand hook grip.

    I have great grip strength in general (former gymnast, was also a teenage boy once), but...

    Chalk will help, but I really don't want to bust out the lifting straps or switch back to an alternating grip. Although I feel like I could pull 405 tomorrow if I strapped into the bar.

    Just keep pulling and hope it gets better? Finger-lengthening surgery?

  • #2
    Well, a thinner barbell could help, but I'm guessing that's not reasonable in your lifting situation.

    Can you take a photo of the hook grip and how much your middle finger overlaps your thumb? All you need is the pad of your middle finger to be on your thumbnail. A thin strip of athletic tape around your thumbnail could help, but I doubt you need it.
    The Champagne of Beards

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    • #3
      It drives me absolutely bonkers when I see guys at my gym using chalk and they don't freaking wipe down the equipment afterwards. I'm guessing you are not one of these guys.

      I don't have any advanced feedback for you but I have always thought that lifting straps are kinda cheating. Am I wrong?

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      • #4
        Yeah, I'd wipe the chalk off. I'll update when I do the chalk + tape combo next DL day. I'll snap a pic, also, RM.

        I have lifting straps, but haven't used them in a couple of years for anything. I feel like they're cheating.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Mr. Anthony View Post
          Yeah, I'd wipe the chalk off. I'll update when I do the chalk + tape combo next DL day. I'll snap a pic, also, RM.

          I have lifting straps, but haven't used them in a couple of years for anything. I feel like they're cheating.
          Hmmm I like the sound of using tape. What kind of tape is this? I might try it too. My hands are tiny. I just use gloves right now because my hands are getting so rough from calluses.

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          • #6
            Captains of crush
            Plate pinches
            Sledgehammer walks

            I see some dedicated grip training in your future...

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            • #7
              Originally posted by cayla29s View Post
              Hmmm I like the sound of using tape. What kind of tape is this? I might try it too. My hands are tiny. I just use gloves right now because my hands are getting so rough from calluses.
              Gloves make it harder to grip, and they make the effective thickness of the bar greater. Lose the gloves.
              The Champagne of Beards

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Mr. Anthony View Post
                Yeah, I'd wipe the chalk off. I'll update when I do the chalk + tape combo next DL day. I'll snap a pic, also, RM.

                I have lifting straps, but haven't used them in a couple of years for anything. I feel like they're cheating.
                Yeah, I'd say lifting straps are a last resort (if you don't plan to compete in powerlifting). If it was the only way to progress, I'd encourage you to use them, but I think you still have options without going down that path. Like dedicated grip work per not_on_the_rug's suggestion, chalk & tape & hook grip, etc.
                The Champagne of Beards

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
                  Gloves make it harder to grip, and they make the effective thickness of the bar greater. Lose the gloves.
                  Okay. Everytime I try lifting without gloves, I feel like my palms are going to get destroyed. I have calluses just below my fingers and they hurt to the point that I can't even hold on to the BB. I have also used paper towels from the gym and wrap it around the handle of the BB or DB. This seems to work too. I know it's kind of stupid and I sound like a big complainer right now.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by cayla29s View Post
                    Okay. Everytime I try lifting without gloves, I feel like my palms are going to get destroyed. I have calluses just below my fingers and they hurt to the point that I can't even hold on to the BB. I have also used paper towels from the gym and wrap it around the handle of the BB or DB. This seems to work too. I know it's kind of stupid and I sound like a big complainer right now.
                    You may be grabbing the bar in the wrong part of your hand.
                    The Champagne of Beards

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
                      You may be grabbing the bar in the wrong part of your hand.
                      Been doing a bunch of reading on this; I'm gonna tweak my grip some more and experiment. I've seen a couple different ways. One of them has to work better.

                      Sent via A-10 Warthog

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Mr. Anthony View Post
                        Been doing a bunch of reading on this; I'm gonna tweak my grip some more and experiment. I've seen a couple different ways. One of them has to work better.
                        I meant that comment for Cayla. 355 with no chalk DOHG is probably as much/more than I'd be able to pull. I did manage to pull 415 with a hook yesterday.
                        The Champagne of Beards

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by RichMahogany View Post
                          I meant that comment for Cayla.
                          I know; just I'm going to experiment with some ways of holding the bar I've been reading about.

                          Sent via A-10 Warthog

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                          • #14
                            I personally use straps on my very heaviest, but use double overhand on everything up until that.
                            For me, I don't want my back to be limited by my hands, so I use straps. I feel that going strapless for all but the last set or two will develop my grip as well along the way.

                            I do want to try out the hookgrip, and have used it in one session, but I think I need to build up a tolerance to it

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Ghshl View Post
                              I do want to try out the hookgrip, and have used it in one session, but I think I need to build up a tolerance to it
                              I've been getting better with it, and I just have to say that the mistake I originally made was to let all the weight of the bar crush my thumb between itself and my middle finger. Now I squeeze everything tight like a car is going to drive over my fist and only the necessary amount of pressure squishes my thumb. I still have trouble doing sets of 5 with a hook, but I can pull a single with it with as much weight as I can alternate-grip. Haven't tested my hook 1RM vs. my straps 1RM though.
                              The Champagne of Beards

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