What differentiates a good deadlift from a strong deadlift? A valid case could be made for a strong deadlift grip. In the deadlift, grip can be defined as a limiting factor. A limiting factor is something that can completely halt progress in its steps and limit further PRs. Basically, you’ll only be able to push your deadlift to the extent of what your grip can handle.
So even though your back might be strong enough to handle the weight, if your grip fails, then your pull will be limited.
There are three common types of deadlift grips and each will come along with its own set of benefits, drawbacks, and best uses. In the video below, we dive into the double overhand, hook, and mixed grip styles for the deadlift and discuss why each can be awesome, where they fall a little short, and how to use them in your training. Check it out below!
Deadlift Grip Styles
1. Double Overhand
- Benefits: Great for strengthening the hands, overall grip, and building the forearms
- Drawbacks: Your grip will be limited in respects to how much you can deadlift with this style due to bar slippage.
The double overhand grip is an awesome tool to improve overall deadlift grip strength. When programming deadlifts and using this grip, it’s often a good idea to use this style until you absolutely can’t without form breakdown or bar slippage (the switch could be based on a rep ranges or training percentages). For beginners, it’s a good idea to use this grip more often than not to help develop foundational grip strength.
2. Hook Grip
- Benefits: Incredibly secure and supports upper back symmetrical development.
- Drawbacks: Painful as heck when beginning.
The hook grip is essentially a way of gripping the barbell that turns the hand into a natural lifting strap. If you compete in powerlifting (and weightlifting), then it’s a good idea to use this grip style when lifting heavy to produce training to competition carryover. For beginners, it’s a good idea to use this grip slightly more often in lighter sets to help the uncomfortable acclimation period.
3. Mixed Grip
- Benefits: Secure grip style and viable training option when using barbells with bad knurling.
- Drawbacks: Potential variance in upper back development.
The mixed grip is useful for athletes who want a secure grip and don’t wish to hook grip. This grip style is extremely secure and is often used in competition. In respects to training, it’s typically a good idea to implement this grip style on heavy working sets to promote training to competition carryover, or to avoid missing lifts due to the bar slipping out.