Grip Width. Sure, it works for a while, but do you really have control of the weight? Sumo deadlift: The Sumo deadlift is a variation where one will approach the bar with the feet wider than shoulder-width apart and grip the bar with a close grip inside of one's legs and proceed with correct form. The views expressed on this site may come from individual contributors and do not necessarily reflect the view of BarBend or any other organization. Early Specialization vs. STARTING (INITIAL) POSITION: Grasp a barbell with a shoulder-width mixed... Muscles Involved in Conventional Deadlift. Keep your chest up and your back straight, keeping the natural inward curve of your lower spine. Film yourself from the front. "If you can't hold onto it without straps, you won't be able to complete the lift in a competition," Holdsworth says. The double overhand grip is a safer alternative, though you won’t be able to lift as heavy. With the conventional deadlift, we bend our knees at the bottom of the lift, allowing us to engage our quads at the expense of our hamstrings. The trap bar requires the lifter to use a neutral grip, grabbing the handles on either side. I won't bore you with the science of centripetal force, but this positioning allows for greater grip strength, meaning your grip is less likely to fail on heavy loads. 5 Exercises to Increase Grip Strength for Deadlifts 1. Deadlift grip widths will all vary slightly between athletes, but there are commonalities that should be sought out across every population. Lifting straps make grip strength weaknesses a non-issue when performing Olympic lifts. Here’s Why So Many CrossFitters Are Flocking to Bobsledding, CrossFit Duo Tia-Clair Toomey and Shane Orr Announce a Big Move, Watch Zydrunas Savickas Crush 2020 Lithuania’s Strongest Man, CrossFit Athlete Brooke Wells’ New Coach Is Shane Orr, Strongman Anthony Fuhrman Announces Contest for 105-kilogram Athletes, The Best Barbells For Training, Weightlifting, Powerlifting, and More, The 12 Best Creatine Supplements on the Market, The 12 Best Pre-Workout Supplements on the Market in 2020. This deadlift grip has both knuckles facing forwards, with your fingers going over the bar and thumb under the bar. The widest grip one will use for a Deadlift is when the lifter performs a Snatch Grip Deadlift. The conventional deadlift is the normal, “conventional” way of deadlifting, where we set up with a fairly narrow stance and lift the barbell from the floor, like so: The mighty conventional deadlift. Before we talk about our grip width test below, let’s first define narrow and wide in this context. Trap bars take on a hexagonal shape and are sometimes referred to as “hex bars”. However, straps are banned in most competitions—so if you're preparing for an event, don't rely on them. From there, you want your hands just outside the knees.". Well, it's awkward and it hurts like hell. Some lifters say it feels like their thumbs are going to dislocate. Straps can be used occasionally, but excess use may negatively impact grip improvement with time. Deadlift grip width can be a huge determinant of success when working with maximal loads. When you are in place your shoulder blades will be directly over the bar when viewed from the side, your back will be flat, and your shins will be very close to if not completely vertical. Having a weak grip when deadlifting is definitely going to be a huge factor in limiting any progression. RELATED: Ask the Experts: What's the Best Grip for Deadlifts? The Stiff Leg Deadlift vs. This is because grip width is a resulting byproduct of other mechanical details such as stance, hip, and shoulder width. When your feet are at the proper width, turn your toes out at an angle of about 30 degrees instead of keeping them pointed straight forward as in the conventional deadlift. Gentilcore says, "The overhand grip is considered very safe, and it really builds up grip strength. Farmer’s Walks. "If you're deadlifting with the intent of increasing force production in the lower body and not improving grip strength, straps are fine and there's no reason not to use them," Bonvecchio says. Why is this? | The bar can also drift in four directions—forward, backward, and side to side—whereas on a barbell Deadlift the bar can only drift forward. Grip the bar slightly wider than the legs, using a closed, normal grip (both palms facing backward) or an alternate grip (one palm facing forward and one palm facing backward). ", Deadlift position: Hands just outside the knees, Sumo Deadlift position: Hands inside the knees, about a foot apart, Snatch Grip Deadlift position: Index fingers on outer rings of barbell. A static hold is just the top... 2. Deadlifting for Likes and Follows. The best way to think about the arms and hands in the conventional deadlift is to visualize the arms as ropes and the hands as hooks. The sumo deadlift relies on recruiting the hips, glutes, and legs to initiate the first portion of the pull, while the conventional has a more equal balance between the lower back and hamstrings. Get Faster for Any Sport With This 12-Week Speed Workout. The Hook Grip Deadlift is a variation of the Deadlift where you wrap your four fingers, from your index finger to your pinky, over top of the bar and then wrap them over top of your thumb as well. However, the mixed Deadlift grip creates a higher potential for injuries such as biceps tears, and may result in muscle imbalances," Gentilcore says. From the front, you can watch for hip shifts, knock-knees, turning-out of the toes, and grip width (in the case of the conventional deadlift and sumo deadlift). STACK talked with Tony Gentilcore and Tony Bonvecchio of Cressey Performance, and J.L. Join STACK and gain instant FREE access to resources that have helped millions of people jump higher, run faster, get stronger, eat smarter and play better. If either of these are happening, then check your grip and stance width, then try to identify the point in the deadlift when these are happening. The deadlift is weird in a way. Deficit Deadlifts. I generally tell people their grip will be half in the knurling of the bar and half in the smooth part." While there isn’t one grip that will work for everyone, there are common pillars to follow and tests to use when finding what’s best for you. Conventional Deadlift (Regular Deadlift) Conventional Deadlift Exercise Instructions. Join the BarBend Newsletter for everything you need to get stronger. Step out and into a sumo stance, with your feet around 1.5 shoulder-widths apart, toes pointing outward. BarBend is an independent website. Load a barbell on the floor. This really challenges your grip strength, meaning you get a phenomenal forearm workout when you Deadlift. If there’s any point of the hand on the lateral side that is coming off the bar in either of these paused positions, then that could be a sign to reassess your grip width. Both grips can work depending on your sumo technique. One of the biggest Deadlift debates concerns whether you should use an overhand grip or a mixed grip when performing the exercise. "With a mixed grip, the bar is more likely to drift or 'helicopter' away from you on the palm-up side, so be sure to pull the bar tight into your body and drag it up your shins as you lift," advises Bonvecchio. If you’re unsure about which grip width feels best, then try out the test below. If you’re just starting to optimize your grip width for deadlifts, then the shoulder-width grip will be a good place to start. What’s most important is the consideration of the three factors above because they can greatly dictate your success:fail ratio when moving heavy weight. It’s a great functional and compound exercise that trains your whole body with the main effort going on your posterior chain. If you can nail all three of these, then you’re on the right path to the ideal grip width. Why add the pause? For standard Deadlifts, your hands should be just outside your knees. Engage you core by acting like someone is going to punch you in the stomach, and begin to put tension on the bar. Holdsworth, professional powerlifter and owner of The Spot Athletics, to learn more about hand placement for the Deadlift. This is because, during conventional deadlifts, you start with your torso in a very inclined position. Gentilcore says, "I like to tell people to assume a power position with their feet for a standard Deadlift, which basically means the stance you'd use to perform a vertical jump. The conventional deadlift belongs in the multiple-joint exercise … Conventional Deadlift. Used by many power lifters, the hook grip is essentially an overhand grip, but you curl your thumbs inward and place your fingers (usually your pointer and index fingers) on top of it. Ask the Experts: What's the Best Grip for Deadlifts? | This lengthens the lever between … Having your hands at your sides can make it easier to grip the bar. The best thing you can do is to experiment and see what feels comfortable to you. Then, as you deadlift the arms should in no way make enough contact with the legs to cause them to go valgus (knees cave in), or deviate in any way. Early Sampling: Which is Better? It uses more hip drive to lift the weight with the lower back supporting the lift. It's the one lift where smaller, less … That’s why it’s important to perform assessments every once in a while to assess grip width mechanics, and this is especially true for beginner populations who are just starting to fine-tune their deadlift. So why doesn't everyone use the hook grip for Deadlifts? Obviously, that changes based upon how wide apart your feet are. So a simple way to train your grip is to try to hold your last deadlift for an extended hold (5-10s). As with the conventional deadlift, use a staggered or overhand grip; it's up to you. I compare this to dive bombing squats. To battle muscle imbalances, you can switch hand positions on alternating sets. How to Do a Plank Without Wasting Your Time, 12 Effective Arm Exercises Without Weights, Why Sled Training Makes Sense For Everyone, The Full-Body Med Ball Workout You Must Try, 9 Best Kettlebell Exercises for a Powerful Lower Body. Static Holds. Since your hands are so wide, the Snatch Grip Deadlift has the largest range of motion of any Deadlift—meaning the bar has to move the most distance to complete a rep. If done incorrectly, the deadlift can cause injury. This means that the conventional deadlift engages more overall muscle mass in the legs, but the Romanian deadlift is better for isolating the hamstrings. Trap bars have two sets of neutral handles: one at the same level as the rest of the bar … Sumo Deadlift Movement Pattern Deficit deadlifts is a great way to add a few inches to the pull of your deadlift. However, your grip can quickly become a limiting factor when you move to heavy loads.". Using the overhand grip with heavy loads or high reps, lifters sometimes find their lower bodies are capable of completing the lift—only to have their grip strength fail. Whether you pull conventional or sumo more often, try out the tips below to find your ideal grip width. The Conventional Deadlift. From a 45-degree angle, you can see some stuff - but never with as "unobscured" a view as you'd prefer. The conventional deadlift is just the opposite. Drop your hips, lift your chest, and brace your abs, which is … Or if the conventional deadlift is shallow for you, then include some deeper assistance lifts. 4 Deadlift Grip Variations. Topics: Lifting straps are an accessory usually made of nylon, leather or canvas wrapped around both the lifter's wrist and the barbell, in essence binding the bar to the athlete's hands. "It can enhance your ability to grip the bar, but it also can be really painful," Bonvecchio says. It's not fancy, it's not pretty and it's not a fad—but it sure is effective. "This grip generally allows people to lift more weight, because grip strength becomes less of a limiting factor. Deadlift position: Hands just outside the knees. Position: Overhand grip with fingers wrapped around the thumbs. Position: Alternating  hand positions, one hand overhand, the other underhand. On the flip side, if you have a slightly wider grip, then be mindful of your hand placement and your thighs — you don’t want the thighs causing too much contact with the hands close to lockout. Another plus for the overhand grip is that it allows you to easily keep the bar close to your body. Position: Neutral grip, hands at your sides with palms facing in. Lifters can focus solely on the amount of weight they can pull—not on how much weight they can grip. Conventional Deadlift. When an exercise has been around as long as the Deadlift, variations are bound to arise; and many of them involve hand positioning and grip. Note: These guidelines apply to all three deadlifts that we’re about to review. The deadlift is one of three exercises for the powerlifter and although it’s done in the more conventional way, the snatch grip as explained previously improves strength in an unconventional position plus it improves grip strength which is always beneficial for deadlift performance. | In the conventional deadlift, much of one’s grip width will be dictated by stance width, as these two will have a relationship with one another throughout successful deadlifts. ", RELATED: The Benefits of the Trap Bar Deadlift. Before reading any further, it’s important to acknowledge that all deadlift grip widths will vary slightly. The Sumo Deadlift is often found to be easier on the back than the Standard Deadlift, but both the feet and hand positioning limit its range of motion—meaning the bar doesn't have to move very far to complete a rep. In this article, we’ll focus on best deadlift grip width practices to keep in mind based on your individual needs, anthropometrics, and mechanical pulling style. Sometimes what seems like a grip strength issue is actually more related to how one is gripping the bar and the width in which they’re doing so. The first way to check if you’re optimizing leverages and using the correct grip width is to perform a little self awareness test by doing a tempo deadlift. Check out the video player above for a demonstration. Make sure the bar tracks in a straight line, close to your legs as you fully extend your legs and press the hips forward. Step close to the barbell and stand in front of it with your feet hip-width apart. For most of us, a standard conventional deadlift is the best choice. | Stance width, hip angles, along with torso angles vary pretty greatly from athlete to athlete with sumo pulls due to cutting optimizing leverages as being the main goal. The bar should touch your shins. It’s a great tool to strengthen your posterior chain muscles and to develop both functional and pulling strength. Instant access to FREE resources that have helped millions of people jump higher, run faster, get stronger, eat smarter and play better. "This grip will increase the range of motion of the exercise," Gentilcore says. Grab the bar with a shoulder-width grip. The wider grip puts significantly more stress on the upper back, traps, and rear delts than a conventional deadlift, while pulling from the pins with the bar elevated a few inches off the floor allows for better form and heavier loading than pulling from the floor. DEADLIFT You might be able to use more weight with lifting straps, but at the cost of sacrificing gains in grip strength. First Set: Grip the bar with the hands directly under the shoulders, then perform three reps with a 1-second pause at... Rest. "It's an extremely good way to Deadlift, but until you develop a callus there, it's very uncomfortable and can rip the skin. When it comes to sumo deadlift grip width, it can tricky because some athletes prefer a narrower grip, while other athletes prefer a slightly wider grip. If the arms are causing the legs to shift in due to knocking into them, then widen the grip slightly to a point in which you can create light contact with the inside of the elbow and lateral leg in a set position, OR bring in your stance width slightly. "The overhand grip is ideal for good shoulder and upper-back position, because it's easier to keep the bar close to your body," Bonvecchio says. ", But the trap bar Deadlift does have drawbacks. There’s no one-size-fits-all equation for grip width, however, there are some useful guidelines to keep in mind when trying to find what’s best for you. Stand over the bar with a stance that has your feet spread about hip-width apart. Conventional Deadlift All in all, both exercises can benefit strength athletes, so there’s no need to choose between them. BARBELL World records, results, training, nutrition, breaking news, and more. What we’re looking for here is three things, 1) which grip allowed you to have the most contact with the knurling on the bar, 2) which grip facilitated the best lat engagement, and 3) which grip gave you the most control of the barbell at the top. Put about 75-80% on the bar. When an exercise has been around as long as the Deadlift, variations are bound to arise; and many of them involve hand positioning and grip. Wide-grip deadlifts are great for that. There are two useful tests I like to use to check grip width. To summarize, choose the deepest deadlift that you can comfortably manage as your main lift. What you’re looking for is palm contact around the bar and wrist angle. Reach down and grab the bar with shoulder-width overhand or alternating grip. The Deadlift is one of the most basic exercises out there. Another potential downside of the mixed grip is that it can permit the bar to drift away from your body. If you have short thighs with a long torso, you’ll usually setup with lower hips than someone with long thighs and a … This has the feet in a standard Deadlift position, but the hands are much wider apart. The inside of the elbow should be lightly touching or lying flush with the lateral portion of the knee/leg when you’re set at the bottom (regardless of stance width). STACK Experts Tony Bonvecchio & Tony Gentilcore break down the pros and cons of various Deadlift grips. | Being able to stop the bar from rolling out your fingers through having strong forearms and hands will be a big advantage for you, and as I have previously said, this is something you need to work on before looking at all the different grip variations. All of these can dictate your grip width slightly compared to your peers. "I highly recommend putting athletic tape on the thumb when you first try this grip," says Holdsworth. When done correctly, the arms should be relatively perpendicular to the ground throughout your pull and the legs should be consistent without any wavering due to arm contact. Technically speaking, it doesn’t get any simpler than static holds. In addition, we don’t want radial deviation (wrists turning inwards) to compensate for full palm contact — think about how the wrists look in snatch grip deadlifts. All things considered, if you competitively powerlift, then your focus should be on maximizing leverages with deadlifts that provide you with the highest success rate. It's not fancy, it's not pretty and it's not a fad—but it sure is effective. Well, if we look at both lifts from a technical point of view, then it’s pretty easy to see that the sumo deadlift has a lot more to its technique. What's More Important When Training Athletes: Technique or Weight? TRAP BAR. Most trap bars have a higher starting position than normal barbells, making them a good choice for beginner lifters and for athletes who can't keep a good lower back position during standard Deadlifts. Conventional Deadlift Grip: The typical and so-called 'normal' grip, the best grip to start with when leaning how to deadlift. Your build influences how proper Deadlift form looks like for you. The hook grip is favored by many experienced lifters, because it allows for phenomenal grip strength and avoids the potential of bicep tears that comes from Deadlifting with a supinated grip. Generally speaking, narrower grips are tougher to control when at lockout and when passing the thighs due to friction, so be mindful of these performance characteristics if you choose to pull with a narrower grip. In a conventional deadlift, you stand behind the bar, grip it, and pull it to lockout. With the overhand Deadlift grip, you grab the bar with both palms facing you. How, why and where you grab the iron can impact the exercise in numerous ways, and knowing the pros and cons of the various Deadlift grips is beneficial for any athlete. He continues, "For Sumo Deadlift, hand position will be inside the knees, about 12 to 14 inches apart. With the sumo style, your hips are closer to the bar compared to a conventional deadlift with a more vertical torso; which takes the stress … (vii) Inhale. The Trap Bar Deadlift uses a trap bar, which is sometimes called a hex bar, instead of a barbell. Position: Pronated grip with both palms facing you. LIFTS The Best Strength and Power Superset for Athletes, Why Nutrition Isn't About Making the 'Perfect' Choice, Quick Cues to Clean Up Your Kettlebell Swing, A Peloton Bike Probably Won't Get You Your Dream Body. Over time, some lifters get used to the pain (or get used to ignoring it.) Bonvecchio says, "The trap bar reduces sheer stress on the spine, because you stand inside of the bar instead of behind it like with a straight barbell. However, this comes at a cost. Bonvecchio continues, "It's easy for the knees to shift inward or forward, resulting in a more knee-dominant lift than the desired hip-dominant technique. For most people, the hands will grip the bar naturally below the shoulders. Proper Deadlift form: hip-width stance, narrow grip, vertical arms, bar against shins, locked hips/knees at the top. GRIP STRENGTH Sumo Deadlift position: Hands inside the knees, about a foot apart. If you want to switch up your grip width, then do so for a mesocycle before writing it off! What’s most important is that you experiment with different widths based on your preferred form. The Deadlift is one of the most basic exercises out there. … The snatch grip deadlift is a popular variation of the conventional deadlift. 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Lever between … Powerlifter Mark Bell explains and demonstrates the conventional Deadlift on pure grip strength much weight they pull—not... It allows you to easily keep the bar. extended hold ( 5-10s ) 're preparing for event! To lift more weight, because grip width when working with maximal loads ``!