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What is a hook grip?

A hook grip is a specialized grip used primarily by Olympic lifters. The hook grip allows the lifter to hold on to very heavy weights without experiencing as much forearm and wrist fatigue. The hook grip is a closed grip wherein the fingers (usually the index and middle finger) wrap around the barbell and the thumb. The grip can be painful at first and takes some getting used to. It is rarely used by traditional weight lifters because most people prefer to use 'straps' to aid in holding heavy weights.

The hook grip is a specialized grip used to create a vice like clamp on the bar without any supportive equipment. Just like a normal standard grip with the thumb on the opposite side of the bar from the fingers, the hook grip goes one step deeper by reaching the thumb underneath the bar as far as possible. From here, the thumb goes under and is clamped down by the index and middle finger of that same hand. The friction created by the thumb clamped by the  index and middle finger against the knurled bar secures a much more formidable grip than the standard version. It can create discomfort for people new to the grip. Many lifters utilize tape on the thumbs and chalk to help decrease abrasions on the thumb. The hook grip is used almost universally by Olympic lifters in competition to secure the bar since the use of straps is forbidden.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.