Why is hookgrip easier/better than straps? Why is hookgrip easier/better than straps?

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Thread: Why is hookgrip easier/better than straps?

  1. #1
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    Default Why is hookgrip easier/better than straps?

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    Rip, I've been experimenting with hookgripping one workset and then straps the other worksets for my deadlifts, and I've noticed that the hookgrip deadlifts are faster and feel easier than the strapped deadlifts. This is true whether I hookgrip on set one and strap set two or strap set one and hookgrip set two.

    I've had my clients try this as well (when they have more than one workset of deadlifts). We've noticed the same thing with them.

    I don't currently have an explanation for this except that the additional contraction in the forearms and lats contribute to keeping the bar path vertical.

    Have you had this observation, and if so, can you explain it?

    Thanks for your time.

  2. #2
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    I have not observed this, and my only explanation would be that hook grip is obtained faster and with less drama than fooling around with straps.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    I have not observed this, and my only explanation would be that hook grip is obtained faster and with less drama than fooling around with straps.
    Have you experimented with any thumb protection equipment for the hook grip? I saw a few thumb sleeves online, but it seems like a steel cylinder covering your thumbnail would make more sense. Haven't seen one of those yet.

  4. #4
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    Why would this be necessary, Dave?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrewLewis View Post
    Rip, I've been experimenting with hookgripping one workset and then straps the other worksets for my deadlifts, and I've noticed that the hookgrip deadlifts are faster and feel easier than the strapped deadlifts.
    By easier, do you mean getting and maintaining the grip, or coming up from the bottom of the lift itself? Because since I started using a hookgrip a few months ago because of a trigger finger problem, the lift feels easier and I can use more weight.

    If the lift itself is what you meant, my own theory is that the hookgrip affords you slightly "longer" hands. Maybe up to an inch or so because the bar sits lower in the hand than with a mixed grip. There's a passing reference to the "longer" hand in SS:3, although it was talking about the explosive lifts rather than the deadlift.

  6. #6
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    Probably mostly about what Rip said, about being bent-over for a length of time while strapping up.
    That's a mental downer too.
    A lot of people have to fart around with their start stances as a result of messing with the straps crouched over.
    They may not be in the best start position.....the first rep that is unduly difficult leads to the subsequent reps being shitty from fatigue and "psyche-out" reasons

    Also, this is just my personal observation: like on a heavy single or a 1RM, hookgrip seems like the bar is farther down in the fingers....making for "longer arms".
    Most people (inc.me) might strap-up a bit too tight, and the bar winds up being moreso "higher" in the grip (shorter arms = longer ROM & less of a starting leverage).
    5's might be a different story. But I prefer hook on singles.

    I might have longer fingers than most so YMMV.

    Some people have spoke about (cue) squeezing the bar as hard as possible when doing maximal benches or presses....that the nervous system stimulus somehow carries over to the other muscle groups enchancing more musclaur contraction of the whole body. Like you said, when you hook you still have to actively squeeze hard. Straps, not so much.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe View Post
    I have not observed this, and my only explanation would be that hook grip is obtained faster and with less drama than fooling around with straps.
    That makes sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by dpinsen View Post
    Have you experimented with any thumb protection equipment for the hook grip? I saw a few thumb sleeves online, but it seems like a steel cylinder covering your thumbnail would make more sense. Haven't seen one of those yet.
    It seems like that would make the deadlift less secure with no additional benefit.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by dpinsen View Post
    Have you experimented with any thumb protection equipment for the hook grip? I saw a few thumb sleeves online, but it seems like a steel cylinder covering your thumbnail would make more sense. Haven't seen one of those yet.
    If you’re a pussy like myself, Or if you still need to open your iphone with the thumbprint, self-adhesive tape makes hookin a lot more comfortable.

    Other thoughts on being a hooker:
    The grip slightly lengthens your arms, so would this allow the tiniest bit of leverage advantage?

    Also, I still grip tight with a hook grip. Not sure if I grip as tight with straps.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark E. Hurling View Post
    There's a passing reference to the "longer" hand in SS:3, although it was talking about the explosive lifts rather than the deadlift.
    The Hook Grip | Mark Rippetoe

    Hook Grip for the Deadlift | Mark Rippetoe

  10. #10
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    starting strength coach development program
    Rip, I've seen you advocate for using straps for rack pulls, since they are not primarily a grip exercise and therefore shouldn't be limited by grip strength. Is there any benefit to using straps vs. hook gripping rack pulls beyond comfort?

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