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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 04-21-2003, 11:02 AM   #1
Brad Hirakawa
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My grip seems to be the limiting factor on how much I can dead lift. Is this common, or am I doing something wrong? Any suggestions?

Thank you all.
Brad
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Old 04-21-2003, 01:23 PM   #2
Patrick Johnston
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I can't believe that I am giving YOU advice but here goes. Make sure you use an opposite grip. That is one palm towards you and the other away from you. You may want to experiment with a "hook" grip. That is your index and middle finger wraps over you thumb and squeezes like hell.
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Old 04-21-2003, 02:50 PM   #3
Ryan Atkins
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I recently read in The Weightlifting Encyclopedia (by Arthur Drechsler) that some Olympic lifters will actually file the top of their thumbnails in order to give themselves more traction while using the hook grip that Patrick mentions above. He also writes that some will let their thumbnails grow longer so that both the index and middle finger can make use of this extra traction!
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Old 04-21-2003, 05:09 PM   #4
Brad Hirakawa
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Opposite grip... I will try that for sure. Do you think I should alternate which hand is palm forward on occasion?

Coincidentally, I just watched an olympic lifting video (Explosive lifting for sports) and it mentioned the hook grip. Looks tough, but I'll have to try that one also.

Another question... are grip aids legal in Olympic lifting events. If not, does that mean these guys are lifting that much weight (which is already impressive to say the least), and maintaining their grip with their bare hands? Holy sh*%!

Thanks again folks.


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Old 04-21-2003, 06:24 PM   #5
Patrick Johnston
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Brad:

I do alternate which hand faces forward. However, you fill probably find one feels better (I tend to use that for my singles). And, no. Grip aids are not legal. Yes, those cats have got some freaky grip strength. You will find that yours will improve significantly and quickly when doing dead-lifts and O-lifts.
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Old 04-22-2003, 08:10 AM   #6
Dan John
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For deadlifts, you can hook the "clean" grip hand, but the "curl" grip hook never worked for me nor anyone else who tried to do it. You have to wrist curl the weight in the curl grip to hold the hook and it just doesn't work with the big ones.

I found it helped me to switch the hands every so often when training deadlifts. Ultimately, I found my right hand (I'm right handed) to be better with the clean grip and the left the curl grip. On my big deadlifts (I pulled 628 at 219 in a powerlifting meet), I noticed that the left hand was barely hanging on at the top.

I now do a lot of "thick bar" deadlifts...since I got the bar for free. I'm not sure this would help many people, but the thick bar stuff seems to help me with the proper speed off the floor and carries over into the Olympic Lifting.

The other "unseen" problem with deadlifts is "soft hands." If you use straps a lot, or if you ignore bars with think knurling, you will find that your skin tears off during competition. Competition bars seem to be much raspier than gym bars and you leave large chunks of flesh if you don't let your hands toughen up.
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Old 04-22-2003, 08:57 AM   #7
Geoff Sample
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Dan John or anyone else - regarding the above post and "soft hands"...is it best to allow the callouses to build up or to file them off? I've never had to deal with this before, but have torn a couple recently. Not that big of deal, but not really pleasant either (and it sure doesn't help your lifting - doesn't stop it, but doesn't help).
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Old 04-22-2003, 09:12 AM   #8
Michael Rutherford
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I don't like a mixed grip. I would encourage you to lighten the load and perform a Power Clean deadlift. Get your body into a nice tight Power
Clean position. Teach yourself the hook grip and go. This will have more positive transfer to other clean variations.
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Old 04-22-2003, 09:21 AM   #9
David Wood
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I use a mixed grip and conscientously reverse it every set. Maybe because of this, I haven't noticed a preference for either direction when going for the max effort . . . but I'm not pulling 628, either (just getting to 405 will be my accomplishment for the year).

As far as the callouses go, I leave 'em alone until my wife complains, then use an emery board to sand them off . . . about every 4 weeks, I guess. (Some things are more important than a big DL.)

Dave

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Old 04-22-2003, 09:22 AM   #10
Dan John
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Geoff, Dick Notmeyer used to MAKE us use some stuff called "Sheep Dip" or something like that that was for callouses. It was a very thick, clear lotion that didn't take the callouses off, but seemed to keep the skin moist enough so they didn't rip off.

I built my deadlift by squat cleans and squat snatches and those rip callouses off a lot. So, my hands were never too much of a problem. I did notice an interesting thing in my early Highland Game career using "O" ring weights...the side of my hands would get ripped to shreds. I had a tough "lifter" grip, but outside the hands were not ready.

So, the moral of the story is that you need to toughen them where you need to toughen them. Ken Shamrock makes this point in his "Lion's Den" book about how when you first start wrestling, your nose bleeds everyday and your skin burns...then, your body tends to "callouse" up.

I have filed my callouses but it is not worth the time, in my opinion. Try a workers lotion after training and see if that helps.

It's funny to talk about "soft hands," but if you ever blow a callous in a lifting meet, you will be a lot more aware in the future. I have popped two off in my hand in the snatch when a new York was used (index and middle) and the wait between snatch and jerks really was a pain. The psyche on the platform blacked out the pain, but the things killed for a few days.

I guess it is a simple reminder that the "body is one piece."
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