What are the Different Types of Deadlift Grips?

Renee Booker

There are two main types of deadlift grips: double overhand grip and mixed grip. As with any weightlifting exercise, there is no one form that works best for everyone; however, there are general principles that apply to most people. In addition to the two main deadlift grips mentioned above, there are also two specific finger positions commonly used: clean grip and hook grip. The deadlift is a very technical powerlifting exercise that usually involves lifting weights far above the individual's body weight. As a result, a wide range of deadlift grips are employed.

The double overhand grip builds the most hand strength and supports proper trapezius muscle growth.
The double overhand grip builds the most hand strength and supports proper trapezius muscle growth.

The two key deadlift grips are the double overhand grip and mixed grip. The double overhand grip is considered standard, and involves a pronated (overhand) hand position with the knuckles facing away from the lifter's body. This grip should be used whenever possible, as it builds the most hand strength and supports proper trapezius muscle growth.

The second most common deadlift grip is the mixed grip. This grip involves one of the hands being wrapped around the bar in a supinated (underhand) position, and the other in a pronated position. This grip allows for maximum gripping power due to the fact that the bar is supported by five fingers on both sides. The mixed grip should only be used when maximum gripping power is required because it causes lateral stress on the spine and can lead to asymmetric muscle growth.

The two types of finger positions commonly used in deadlift grips are the clean grip and the hook grip. The clean grip is considered standard and is demonstrated by wrapping the fingers around the bar in a pronated position, followed by the thumb that rests on the backside of the fingers. This finger position is considered to build the most hand strength, but is less effective at securing heavier weights than the hook grip.

The hook grip is demonstrated by placing the palms of the hands on the bar in a pronated position and wrapping the thumb around the back side of the bar. The fingers are then wrapped around the front of the bar to rest on top of the thumb. This finger position forces the thumb against the bar acting as a hook, which allows significantly more weight to be lifted.

While any combination of the above grips and finger combinations should yield acceptable results and proper weightlifting form, the most important thing to remember is that everyone's body is unique. The grip and finger combination that feels the most comfortable is what should be used, while still allowing the athlete to lift as much weight as possible. As always, safety should be the number one concern, so never use any grip that causes serious pain or injury.

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