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Deadlift Grips: Overhand Vs. Hook Grip Vs. Mixed (VIDEO)

Check out these three common deadlift grips and the pros and cons that come with each!

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.

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Jake Boly

Jake Boly

Jake holds a Master's in Sports Science and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as the Fitness and Training Editor at BarBend.

He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has spoken at state conferences on the topics of writing in the fitness industry and building a brand.

As of right now, Jake has published over 1,200 articles related to strength athletes and sports. Articles about powerlifting concepts, advanced strength & conditioning methods, and topics that sit atop a strong science foundation are Jake's bread-and-butter.

On top of his personal writing, Jake edits and plans content for 15 writers and strength coaches who come from every strength sport.

Prior to BarBend, Jake worked for two years as a strength and conditioning coach for hockey and lacrosse players, and a personal trainer the three years before that, and most recently he was the content writer at The Vitamin Shoppe's corporate office.

Jake competes in powerlifting in the 181 lb weight class, and considers himself a professional knee rehabber after tearing his quad squatting in 2017. On the side of writing full time, Jake works as a part-time strength coach and works with clients through his personal business Concrete Athletics in New York City.

1 thought on “Deadlift Grips: Overhand Vs. Hook Grip Vs. Mixed (VIDEO)”

  1. Hi Jake, I agree with the information about the different grips, however, as a former Canadian powerlifter, and deadlift record holder, (with an Olympic background), when I switched over to powerlifting, I continued utilising the hook grip, and added the reverse grip, so was surprised you didn’t mention the obvious advantage of this combination.

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