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Thread: Hook grip and nerve damage

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    4,818

    Default Hook grip and nerve damage

    Hi Rip.

    I tried hook grip (quite successfully) on the deadlift for the first time today, and I think I might be a permanent convert. My only concern is that I've seen warnings on the good-old-reliable-internet-where-every-thing-you-read-is-true that hook gripping can eventually cause nerve damage or permanent numbness in the thumbs. As far as I can tell, no credible sources have made any such allegation; I'm sure this is a myth on par with "squatting is bad for your knees," but I thought I'd ask anyway.

    So my question: have you known or heard of any lifters suffering permanent thumb numbness or other dysfunction from using the hook grip? Or am I just being paranoid?

    Thanks to you and the coaches and staff for all you do.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    North Texas
    Posts
    34,648

    Default

    Never seen it happen.

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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Ramstein, Germany
    Posts
    5,978

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Root View Post
    My only concern is... that hook gripping can eventually cause nerve damage or permanent numbness in the thumbs.
    Depends what you mean by "numbness." If you mean it gets less sensitive to the pressure, that's certainly true. If it weren't nobody could ever adapt enough to use a hook grip on a heavy deadlift.

    But if you mean that you can't feel anything with the thumb anymore, I've never known anyone to have that problem.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    1,139

    Default

    An afternoon of lab work with a stack of 96 well plates and a hamilton repeating syringe yielded 9 months of numbness to one thumb. Turns out that smashing the interphalangeal joint over and over into steel after becoming too cramped up to use the thumb normally was not a good idea. It took 9 months to get back to normal.

    You shouldn't get this sort of crush injury with the hook grip as the tip is trapped against the bar, not the joint, and the pads move in better position to cover as you grip.

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