News

Weightlifting straps vs hooks

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by Scotty, Oct 13, 2013.

  1. Scotty

    Scotty F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 31, 2003
    6,964
    Oregon
    Full Name:
    Scotty Ferrari
    I'm finding that my grip is failing before my other muscles on a few exercises (I'm almost 52, and certainly not the strongest guy in the gym). I'm having issues with shrugs (100 pound dumbbells) and lat pulldowns (doing about 175 on an unpadded bar)--these are both the maximum I lift with these exercises. I'm thinking about getting either straps or hooks to help with these. My day job is surgery, so I don't want to over-stress my hands. I normally wear weightlifting gloves, but they don't really help the grip issue with a few select exercises.

    Any thoughts/suggestions/product recommendations?
     
  2. To remove this ad click here.

  3. Noel

    Noel F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed Owner

    Harbinger hooks work great. Don't buy the large ones, then your palm can't get around the bar, I learned that the hard way.


    FS: large hooks, used once.
     
  4. Trent

    Trent Formula 3

    Dec 10, 2003
    2,013
    Indialantic, FL
    Full Name:
    Trent
    What are your reps / sets? how many times a week?

    I ask because at 35-40 yrs my grip went from Massive to "think I need straps". Everyone is different sure, but for me it was the fact I was going too heavy and not enough reps. For example on shrugs I was doing 120lb dumbbells but getting 6 or so. Could barely hold them. Now I am 44 and do 10 reps on 100lb dumbbells (and only once a week, instead of twice a week) and my hands are as strong as ever and I dont need straps.

    For me, slightly lighter weight, more reps, and one time a week was the magic sauce.

    Straps, belts, hooks, braces, are usually a sign of going beyond the physical limitations of your body. Which was the norm at the gym when I was in college. But I need my parts to work normally.
     
  5. Scotty

    Scotty F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 31, 2003
    6,964
    Oregon
    Full Name:
    Scotty Ferrari
    I have 3 workouts (each with two variations) and I lift every 4th day. So with shrugs, one workout is three sets of 10 with increasing weight (85x2, 90x1--no straps needed), and the variant is one set of 15 with 50 pound dumbbells, and then one set of 10 with 100 pound dumbells. So I would need straps for shrugs every 24th day.
     
  6. Trent

    Trent Formula 3

    Dec 10, 2003
    2,013
    Indialantic, FL
    Full Name:
    Trent
    Well it sounds like you dont have a workout issue. I vote straps. But my vote does not count for much, since I dont use them unless I am recovering from an injury.

    One more note. I have found that my body, at my age seems to respond better to 4x sets, than 5x or 3x. Where the first is a warmup, but at 75%, then 90%, 95%, 100%, where 100% is the max weight I can use and get 6-8 reps, where 8 is really my goal.
     
  7. To remove this ad click here.

  8. Scotty

    Scotty F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 31, 2003
    6,964
    Oregon
    Full Name:
    Scotty Ferrari
    I think I am getting to that point (and since I have almost 10 years on you, I probably am), although I continue to make gains (mostly small, but still gains) in almost everything. For some exercises I've decided I'm doing enough weight, and on those I am increasing reps versus weight as I make gains. On any given day I try to get to failure on about half of my exercises (the two set ones) and I just make sure my form is spot on on my three set ones.
     
  9. DonJuan348

    DonJuan348 F1 Rookie
    Owner

    Aug 5, 2008
    4,355
    Taxing Jersey
    I've never used straps or a weight belt . Since joining crossfit the coaches there insist I grip the bar which I find to be weak because I'm used to using a hook grip ie with thumb on top of bar versus around bar . It seems to work better . I use this grip for all exercises .

    Try it before buying anything ....


    Ps ...screw the coaches I'm old enough to be their father
     
  10. George Vosburgh

    George Vosburgh F1 Rookie

    May 26, 2011
    3,041
    Pittsburgh, PA
    The reason they are asking you to wrap your thumbs around the bar is so you can not drop the bar on your chest. Yes it is a more difficult hand position. All major competitions insist you wrap your thumbs, so you won't kill yourself!
     
  11. DonJuan348

    DonJuan348 F1 Rookie
    Owner

    Aug 5, 2008
    4,355
    Taxing Jersey
    I fully understand that. I'm not in competition using mega amount of weight. they also say without thumbs you engage more muscle. this is how I've done it for twenty five years and now to use thumbs I'm weaker
     
  12. To remove this ad click here.

  13. George Vosburgh

    George Vosburgh F1 Rookie

    May 26, 2011
    3,041
    Pittsburgh, PA
    You're not weaker, you are using a different set of muscles. When we close grip without wrapped thumbs we are using mostly triceps. When you wrap the thumbs and use a normal grip you are working the chest.
     
  14. Scotty

    Scotty F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Oct 31, 2003
    6,964
    Oregon
    Full Name:
    Scotty Ferrari
    I'm confused by the thumb position thing. I get that you could you two positions with pressing type exercises (e.g. bench) but my issue is more pulling (dumbbell shrugs, lat pulldowns, etc.) and I don't see how I would have a choice of thumb position.
     
  15. DonJuan348

    DonJuan348 F1 Rookie
    Owner

    Aug 5, 2008
    4,355
    Taxing Jersey
    I use it for most exercises but shrugs curls I use full grip .I've read that pulling exercises like pull down ,pull-ups etc. not using thumbs engage more muscles
     
  16. George Vosburgh

    George Vosburgh F1 Rookie

    May 26, 2011
    3,041
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Yes, that's fine. Full grip for shrugs, straight leg pull ups, and dead lift (with left hand reversed).
     
  17. Vinny Bourne

    Vinny Bourne Formula Junior

    Nov 25, 2011
    872
    To the OP, don't use either straps or hooks and don't waste your time with shrugs. Worthless exercise that really only does work your grip, so no wonder it fails first. Squeezing the hell out of your wrists is bad in general but espeicially so with your dependence on them, and your patients.

    Grip is a personal thing, unless it would be required for a competition. Either way, thumb back or around, is no big deal. So many other factors are much more important in doing exercises, for example on the bench press, a wider grip will take tricep out of it much more than the thumb position. Most important, do perfect form in a full range with no momentum involved.

    http://i28.tinypic.com/21jdi7r.jpg
    http://chewthedirt.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/ArnoldPullUp.jpg
    http://upfitness.co.uk/media/Hard-personal-training.jpg
     
  18. Vinny Bourne

    Vinny Bourne Formula Junior

    Nov 25, 2011
    872
    Almost forgot; for deadlifts all you need is nice knurling on the bar and some CHALK. And for pulldowns I have used a square piece of an inner tube to go between my hands and the steel. Depends on the equipment some come with nice grippy material.
     
  19. msdesignltd

    msdesignltd F1 World Champ
    Rossa Subscribed

    Nov 17, 2003
    12,696
    NYC. / E. Hampton
    Full Name:
    Michael
  20. V8ray

    V8ray Formula Junior

    Jun 18, 2013
    251
    Full Name:
    Ray
    I use versa Gripp, look for them on amazon. they are great!
     
  21. HobbsTC

    HobbsTC Formula 3

    Jun 14, 2004
    1,465
    Tallahassee, FL
    Full Name:
    Thomas

Share This Page