Clyde's picture

will deadlifting with an over/under grip cause unequal upper back development? I've seen some places that it will and other places that it won't. does it make sense to do some sets with the right hand under and others with the left hand under or maybe to use the hook grip?

I've tried the hook grip before and hated it. I think Rickey Dale Crain was on here and said he tried the hook grip once and never did it again.


Use straps and a double overhand grip?

It's not a grip exercise.

My 0.02


Personally I'd rather kill

Personally I'd rather kill two birds with one stone. Grip doesn't bother me. I switch the grip (right hand or left) on every set. Deadlifts aren't specifically a grip exercise, but compared to only using wrist wraps, it will make a difference in your forearm size and hand strength.

Todd Wilson's picture

Yes, and it can also be

Yes, and it can also be conducive to biceps tears. Why not alternate every set?

I've seen tons of powerlifters argue on boards that direct biceps work leads to tears.... But then when asked, they never alternate their mixed grip and can't see a reason why. Despite the fact that non powerlifters seem to have lots fewer biceps tears.

mike tanis's picture


i always switch my grips and i also do bicep work, hammer curls to be exact for my elbows which also works your bi's. i never have an issue.

Let me not judge my fellowmen, but understand them, Lord, and when the casting of the stones begins, remind me of my many sins.

I got to speak with Travis

I got to speak with Travis Mash and his training partner at a meet once. Mash uses a hook grip for deadlifts. Now Mash has a background in the Olympic lifts so it was surely easier for him to change to a hook grip. But the long and short of things is that he changed to the hook grip because he found that he was getting uneven development in his lower back.
I change grips every other set on warmups and light sets. Best of luck to you.

I would never deadlift for

I would never deadlift for heavy singles WITHOUT a hook grip, now that I can do it. Almost no biceps stress, slightly higher start off the floor, no chance of dropping the bar and beefier forearms to boot? No brainer. It can also make you feel "stronger" the same way straps can, though the effect is not as poignant.

Also, the concern about upper back development or even scoliosis is supposedly addressed by way of a double over hand or hook grip. But like you said, there are a lot of different opinions. You might find something here:

Looks like all the usual stuff, though.

I did both. First three years of lifting was mixed, after that, hook for about four years. I noticed no difference in my upper back re: development, pain, trips to the chiropractor, etc.

And yes, it hurts. And yes, you eventually get used to it. The one long-term problem I had was very dry skin on my thumbs. The drier it was, the more hook gripping hurt. So I had to make sure to both use hand cream when I wasnt lifting and use lots and lots of chalk when I was deadlifting.