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What is the difference between a hookgrip and a regular grip?

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What is the difference between a hookgrip and a regular grip?

Let’s try to answer this question.

    There are numerous reasons why holding the barbell with a hookgrip is obvious. Almost every athlete who tries to snatch a barbell of more than 100 kg (wide grip) has faced the problem of holding it in a regular grip, especially in the moment of power position when you give the bar maximum acceleration. It is difficult to hold it, and often it is impossible – it falls right out of your grip. Even if you were blessed with big hands and long fingers, you still won’t be able to perform a clear and high-quality movement. The reason is a temporary “clamping” (tension) of your palms and all the muscles of your upper limbs. This has several consequences.

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Firstly, it impairs the intramuscular coordination of the upper limbs and the entire body. Secondly, it reduces the transmission of power from your legs and back to the barbell, a part of which is extinguished in “clenched” hands. Thirdly, you will always be focusing on holding the barbell in your hands more and more with every single rep, because of the fatigue in your hand muscles, instead of on a concerted effort of leg and back muscles. As a result of the reasons mentioned above, the movement can become impossible.

Briefly then, let’s list the advantages and disadvantages of a hookgrip:



  1. There is no rapid fatigue, especially in terms of the muscles of the forearm. It can often be seen in functional athletes’ technique.
  2. Eliminates the “stiffness” of the movement, especially in SNATCH, caused by “clogging” due to fatigue or weakness of the arms, which in turn:
  1. would worsen the intra-muscular coordination of the upper limbs and the whole body;
  2. would reduce the transfer of energy from your legs and back to the barbell, part of which is extinguished in “clenched” arms;
  3. takes your focus away from a concerted effort of leg and back muscles as you concentrate instead on keeping  a grip on the barbell.
  4. The ability to lift any weight in such a grip, which is impossible in other techniques.

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  1. Not easy to use initially;
  2. Can be painful when you’re first learning it.

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Sergii Putsov

Author: Sergii Putsov
Head of Sport Science, PhD

Experience: 20 years
Best ResultsSnatch – 165 kg,
C&J – 200 kg

Sergii Putsov, Ph.D., is a former professional weightlifter and National team member, achieving multiple medals in the 94 kg weight category at national competitions. With a Master’s degree in “Olympic & Professional Sport Training” and a Sport Science Ph.D. from the International Olympic Academy, Greece, Sergii now leads as the Head of Sport Science. He specializes in designing training programs, writing insightful blog articles, providing live commentary at international weightlifting events, and conducting educational seminars worldwide alongside Olympic weightlifting expert Oleksiy Torokhtiy.

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