In Olympic weightlifting, the hook grip is a method of holding a barbell by gripping the thumb between the barbell and the remaining fingers. It can be used in multiple weightlifting events, including the snatch and the clean and jerk. It can also be used in powerlifting, in the deadlift, for example.
The hook grip is more secure than grips in which the thumb remains outside the other fingers, like the closed grip or the natural grip. During a snatch or clean, the lifter can exert forces up to 2-3 times the weight of the loaded barbell at rest, and the hook grip allows an athlete to maintain a grip on the bar during the phase of highest bar acceleration, the second pull. The hook grip does this by preventing the bar from rolling in the hands, whereas the bar would have a tendency to roll towards the fingertips in a normal overhand grip.
The hook grip may not be suitable for beginners because the thumb or thumbnail may suffer pain, although this can be overcome by regular training and gradually working with heavier loads with the hook grip. Many Olympic weightlifters tape their thumbs with athletic tape to protect the skin on the thumb, since the hook grip places a relatively large amount of weight on the thumb.
- Everett, Greg (September 1, 2008). Olympic Weightlifting: A Complete Guide for Athletes & Coaches (1 ed.). Catalyst Athletics, LLC.
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