What are Weight Lifting Hooks?

D. Messmer

Weight lifting hooks are pieces of exercise equipment whose purpose is to help athletes lift large amounts of weight. They usually consist of some type of a pair of wrist straps, each of which has a hook that an athlete uses to pick up the weight during a heavy lift. While using these weight lifting hooks, athletes often can lift more weight than they otherwise would be able to, because they are not restricted by the strength of their forearms.

Engaging in improper weight lifting techniques may cause lower back pain.
Engaging in improper weight lifting techniques may cause lower back pain.

Weight lifting hooks work in a similar manner to weight lifting straps, although they provide a little bit more control. They consist of a set of thick straps that an athlete places around his or her wrist. These straps usually use Velcro® so that the athlete can fit them to his or her wrists very securely. Attached to each strap is a hook made of either metal or a very hard plastic.

These hooks need to be rather sturdy because they must be able to support a large amount of weight. The shape of the hooks allows them to roughly follow the shape of the athlete's palm. Because of this shape, when the athlete picks up the weight using the weight lifting hooks, they will simulate the usual position of the hands on the barbell, and the athlete can grip his or her fingers around the hook so that the lift still feels completely natural.

The primary purpose of weight lifting hooks is to provide support for the wrists and forearms. Quite often, when an athlete performs lifts that require a very large quantity of weight, such as dead lifts or shoulder shrugs, he or she will find that the amount of strength in the forearms and wrists will limit the total amount that he or she can lift. By wearing a set of weight lifting hooks, the athlete can overcome this limitation and thus can lift more weight.

For this reason, weight lifting hooks are common among athletes interested in strongman training or who are focusing on bodybuilding. These kinds of pursuits require sets of lifts with low repetitions but very high quantities of weight, so the use of weight lifting hooks enables the athlete to provide the maximum possible load for the muscles involved in the lift. Without the weight lifting hooks, these loads would not be possible, because weakness in the forearms and wrists would always be an obstacle to the heavy lifting.

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