Why do we hook grip?
Hook grip will allow you to lock in your grip and will delay fatigue in your grip a little bit longer during a workout or during any of your pulling movements. When we deadlift and use the switch grip (one hand supinated, one hand pronated) this allows us to control the spin of the bar and with the hook grip, we are essentially doing that within each hand.
When do we use the hook grip?
It should be used in our pulling movements, specifically the snatch and the clean & jerk. Getting used to the hook grip can take some time and it is not the most comfortable way to grip the bar, however, it is definitely the most effective. To get used to the feel of the hook grip, try and use it as much as possible. To help relieve some pain in your thumb, it may be beneficial to tape up your thumbs before your lifting session, this will also give you a bit of a better grip on the thumb.
Do I keep the hook grip throughout the entire lift?
The hook grip should be transitioned into a normal grip after we are done pulling or after we turn over the bar. In the snatch, once you turn over the bar to catch, you can let go of the hook grip. If you wish to keep the hook grip, you can, but just make sure that you have enough mobility to finish the full movement. In the clean and jerk, you want to transition out of the hook grip as you’re catching the bar in the front rack position. It is not necessary to keep the hook grip after catching the clean and into the jerk as it will hinder mobility and positioning as you go overhead.
The hook grip does take a little practice to get used to so don’t worry if it feels unnatural for a while. Try using it more often in lifting sessions and then when you get more comfortable with it, you can integrate the hook grip into your conditioning workouts such as Grace or Isabel.
Get out there, grab a bar, pvc pipe, steering wheel and practice that hook grip!