The Case for the Hook Grip

  2018-08-27 10:00AM

Have you ever been told you need to use a hook grip when snatching or cleaning? Did you try unsuccessfully? Maybe it hurt a bit so you decided to ditch it. Well, the hook grip is actually an essential aspect of progressing as a lifter. The key fingers are the thumb, index finger and middle finger. Start by pressing the bar into the space between the thumb and index finger. Lay the pad of the thumb on the bottom of the bar and hook it first with the middle finger then the index finger. This makes it easier to hold for those with smaller hands. Okay, so what?

Why is the hook grip so important?

1. It locks us to the bar. As the weight gets heavier it will be more difficult to hold. Now, add in an explosive drive to speed up the bar. When we hook grip we’re able to better control the bar. The hook grip enables us to drive explosively with the bar close as we begin to pull ourselves under the bar.

2. It prevents us from holding too much weight in the wrong muscles. When we don’t use a hook grip there is a ton of activation in the muscles all the way from the forearms, up to the shoulders, and through the traps. When we contract all these muscles to hold the weight without the hook grip, we’re unable to use them when it is time to pull under. Using the hook grip keeps these muscles relaxed until it’s time to contract and get underneath the barbell!

You may notice some differences in the turnover of the snatch and clean with regards to the hook grip. For the snatch, some athletes prefer to keep the hook grip at the top while others like to release when they turn over. For the clean, the large majority of lifters will release the hook grip to get their elbows through and receive the bar in a solid front rack position. If you’re not already using a hook grip when you lift, try taping your thumbs to add a layer of protection as it can be uncomfortable. Commit to a solid 2 weeks of lifting with the hook grip before you give up and revert to your old mechanics. You will see the benefits in the long run!


What does the name mean? It means perseverance. Molon Labe represents every man’s and every woman’s struggle and the power to rise above. Everyone faces battles in life. Molon Labe is where you will find your inner strength. You will succeed. You have the power within. We are here to guide you through your journey.

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