Invictus team athlete about to snatch at the CrossFit Games.

5 Reasons Why You Should Use a Hook Grip for Weightlifting
Written by Jared Enderton

Many athletes who don’t hook grip think, “Well I lift the same without it right now so why would I need to hook grip?” It feels weird. That’s the equivalent of saying, “Well I don’t need any food in the house because I just ate and am not hungry.” But you should be planning for the future! Meaning, you’ll be able to lift more in the future if you use a hook grip. Let’s break down why.

Why should you use a hook grip for weightlifting?

1. When you grip a bar normally, you have eight fingers on top of the bar, and your 2 thumbs are behind the bar. Hmm. That seems like an unfair fight. In this scenario, the bar will always rotate out of your thumbs and into your fingertips. Ever done deadlift for reps with an over under grip? Where does that bar end up 100% of the time? In your fingertips without your thumbs even touching the bar! It will always roll out of the weaker side.

2. Why do we use an over/under grip on heavy deadlifts? Because it’s essentially the same thing as hook gripping! How? Well, it becomes a fair fight. With an O/U grip – you have four fingers and one thumb on top of the bar, and four fingers and one thumb on the backside of the bar. It’s a fair fight and an even grip. That’s why we never have to worry about grip strength for max deadlifts (Unless you’re deadlifting an absurd weight).

3. The hook grip is meant to simply keep your thumbs closed on the bar! By hook gripping, one to three of your fingers are giving your thumbs back-up! Quick, your friend is getting jumped (thumb) – let’s help him! The fingers then press down on the thumb – allowing the thumb to stay shut, and more importantly, the bar won’t rotate now.

4. Whether you’re maxing out or going for reps, your forearms can do less work because your hands have a more fair and balanced grip. You don’t have to death grip the bar anymore. In the long term you’ll be able to snatch and clean more weight. Whoa, say hello to your new grip endurance on snatches and clean workouts for reps too!

5. If that isn’t enough, NO Olympic lifters in the past 70+ years (since we have video) at the World and Olympic level have lifted without a hook grip. If all the best weightlifters in the universe do it – I think we should too!


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