Gripping for the Deadlift

As people move away from the machine laden globo gym to something a bit simpler, one of the early questions we get is how to grip for the deadlift.  Some common approaches are:

  1. Mixed Grip or alternating grip (one palm faces you, the other faces away)
  2. Mixed Grip with hook grip (similar to #1 but your 4 fingers overlap your thumb for strength)
  3. Normal Grip (both palms facing you)

Many lifters prefer to use lifting straps which will greatly accelerate your deadlift gains in terms of weight pulled but will leave your wrists very weak and they will not develop.  The mixed grip (either normal or hooked) is a very common grip as it provides a larger amount of strength in the hands, allowing the lifter to pull more weight.  However, this leaves one shoulder partially internally rotated and the other partially externally rotated.  Many lifters attempt to alternate the mixed grip to “even” out the stress but most do not.

More and more we are recommending a normal grip (both palms facing you) for the majority of your deadlifting.  This allows the wrists to develop as well and when you cannot hold on any longer, it’s time to fail over to a mixed grip.

So leave those lifting straps at home and start pulling!

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