The deadlift grip is pretty simple. In this article we will look at the different deadlift grips you can use and how to improve your deadlift grip. I’m sure by now you know how important your grip is when deadlifting. Deadlifts really blast your forearm muscles and therefore require you to build grip strength and use effective grip technique to get the most out of your lifts.
Deadlift Grip – Available Deadlift Grips
There are two deadlift grips available for you to use. One is called the overhand grip and the other is called the alternate/mixed grip.
Overhand Grip. The overhand grip involves gripping the bar with your palms facing down towards the floor and your thumbs wrapped around the bar. This is a natural grip that many of us assume by simply picking up and gripping a dumbbell or barbell. Although this grip may feel more natural and comfortable to a lot of people, the downside is that with heavier weight the bar will slip out of your hands a lot easier.
Alternate Grip. The alternate grip is also referred to as the over and under method or the mixed grip. This grip allows you to place one hand over the bar (like the overhand grip) and the other hand under the bar (palms facing up towards the ceiling as you do when performing the barbell curl). Although this grip can feel strange and somewhat unnatural at first, it will allow you to grip the bar for longer and minimise the chances of the bar slipping from your hand.
Deadlift Grip – How To Improve Your Deadlift Grip
Use an overhand grip for most sets. Yes a mixed grip can help you lift slightly heavier weight and help prevent the bar from slipping out your hands but do not use the mixed grip on every set. Doing so will not strengthen your grip and forearms as effectively as an overhand grip does. Why do you think the bar slips out of your hand in the first place? Its because your grip is not up to par with your deadlift. To help it catch up keep deadlifting with the overhand grip and switch to a mixed grip only on your last heavy set or 1 rep max attempt.
Refrain from using straps. Straps can be used once you are deadlifting some proper weight and even then, should only be used on your last 1 or 2 heavy sets. If you use straps too early on in your training your grip will never get a chance to develop enough to handle heavy weight. Eliminate straps from your deadlift workouts until your repping 225lbs+. If your grip fails take a second or two to reset it when the weight hits the floor. Squeeze the bar hard and try for another rep.
Ensure you are gripping the bar in the right place. This may sound simple but you will be surprised how many people grip the bar incorrectly. The bar needs to be placed just below the bottom of your fingers and not in your palm. Gripping the bar in the wrong place will make the lift uncomfortable and cause the bar to slip out of your hands. Before lifting, ensure the bar is placed close to your fingers and not your palm. Give it a good squeeze to ensure it feels comfortable and then begin the lift.
Focus more on squeezing the bar hard throughout the whole movement. If you deliberately focus on your grip throughout the whole movement your grip will improve. Neglecting to focus on your grip throughout the movement will make the bar slip out of our hands a lot quicker. Focus on squeezing the bar hard throughout every single rep and I can guarantee you your grip will improve and you will keep hold of the bar for longer.
Use Chalk. Chalk can greatly enhance your grip on the bar and will prevent sweaty hands from hampering your lifts. It will also minimise callus formation on the hands.