J-hook orientation J-hook orientation

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Thread: J-hook orientation

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
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    New York
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    Default J-hook orientation

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    Hi Rip,

    Typical j-hooks each have one 90-degree metal ďarmĒ of sorts, that wraps around one side of the metal channel. It can wrap around the inside or the outside of the upright. I observed at the gym today that the racks all vary. Some have both hooks wrapping around the inside, some both outside, and some mixed. I guess over time, the original pairs have mixed together.

    This is probably a minor detail, but is there a compelling reason to orient the j-hooks in a particular way? I did a web search and one lifter suggested having them *opposed to one another, so that if the bar slides to one side, at least one hook wonít swing out of place. This seems like an unlikely occurrence, but orienting the hooks doesnít cost anything and maybe it helps marginally. How about safety pins that operate the same way?

    *by opposed, he meant either both in or both out (since that would mean one wraps around the left side of its upright and the other wraps around the right).

    Probably a minor detail, but just wondering if there is a factor Iím missing.

    Thank you,

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    North Texas
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    52,799

    Default

    Sounds like a very minor detail. Our racks use bolts, so there is no doubt about their security.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2021
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    128

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BareSteel View Post
    Hi Rip,

    Typical j-hooks each have one 90-degree metal ďarmĒ of sorts, that wraps around one side of the metal channel. It can wrap around the inside or the outside of the upright. I observed at the gym today that the racks all vary. Some have both hooks wrapping around the inside, some both outside, and some mixed. I guess over time, the original pairs have mixed together.

    This is probably a minor detail, but is there a compelling reason to orient the j-hooks in a particular way? I did a web search and one lifter suggested having them *opposed to one another, so that if the bar slides to one side, at least one hook wonít swing out of place. This seems like an unlikely occurrence, but orienting the hooks doesnít cost anything and maybe it helps marginally. How about safety pins that operate the same way?

    *by opposed, he meant either both in or both out (since that would mean one wraps around the left side of its upright and the other wraps around the right).

    Probably a minor detail, but just wondering if there is a factor Iím missing.

    Thank you,
    I can't remember the exact details on this, but you may want to google around for safety bars that have a similar arrangement to that of a standard J-hook.

    I think there has been some some rare instances where they can become 'undone' upon a crash or failed rep, depending on how they are orientated (how you describe above).... on something like bench press, this would be obviously bad. But IIRC, it was crashed squats.

    Maybe the manufacturer was lazy and made just one part for both sides. I think there was a recall or something.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN
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    2,258

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    I orient them so they swing inward on the off chance I clip them while walking out of the squat. Then the hook swings freely and don't push the rack side to side.

    This is a tiny detail that can be avoided by simply taking one additional step and making your other steps slightly smaller.

    The bolts on the SS rack avoid this problem nicely and are far superior for several reasons.
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
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    35

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    *Always swing inwards.*

    I was visiting a new gym once and had not yet learned this: the bar caught the hook and it got stuck at a 45 degrees outwards, too wide to rack the bar. I had to holler for help righting it while waiting with 400+ on my back fatigued from the set.

    The same is true of safeties with handedness, they are more likely to tap the plates if outward.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Posts
    363

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    The gym I use has a row of racks with extra sets of jhooks so you can use two bars in the rack, handy for warming up the press while squatting. It always bothers me when there are two left or two right hooks on a rack. I'm not OCD but it still just doesn't seem right. Kind of like different brands or types of plates mixed in together. It really doesn't matter but a bit of uniformity isn't bad.

    I'm in the hooks can swing in but not out camp.

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