Anyone who has been involved in weightlifting for even a short period of time is well aware that the technique of performing the most important movements is very important. Many beginners would like to learn this skill. At the same time, some athletes may find a component such as a barbell grip to be of little importance. On the other hand, some weightlifters are intrigued by the "news" that a certain grip technique helps to build more strength & muscle mass.
There are three main grip types in barbell training: the pronated (= overhand) grip, the hook grip, and the alternated (= mixed) grip. Each athlete can choose the most appropriate type depending on the specifics of his training. We must remember that to progress, weightlifters must regularly strengthen their grip.
The hook grip is the only grip option that allows the weightlifter to perform the Olympic snatch and clean movements. However, this type of grip is often used in other sports as well.
This is no coincidence, as the hook grip is safer than the mixed grip. This grip significantly reduces the load on some tendons, in particular on the biceps tendon. As a result, the risk of injury is reduced to zero. It is known that such injuries are quite common in powerlifting because athletes work with a heavy weight.
Powerlifting is not my specialty, but as an experienced trainer, I can confidently say that even with frequent changes of grip, the risk of injuring the biceps is low - if the technique used by the athlete is correct, his hands are relaxed and he does not make sharp movements with the barbell in the initial phases of the exercise. Also, keep in mind that if you lift weights with a mixed grip for a long time without changing the position of your arms, the growth of the lats, traps, and lower back muscles may be uneven.
The pronated grip is very often used by sportsmen in regular barbell training. To perform any lifting exercise with an overhand grip the athlete's forearms must be resilient and strong. One of the main disadvantages of this grip for the Olympians is that the weightlifter fails to relax his arms and, accordingly, fails to fully transmit momentum to the barbell in the explosive phase.
If we talk about hook grip, we must admit that it is quite reliable, but in this case, the mobility of the fingers plays an important role. This skill can be developed quite successfully with a few simple exercises.
The key disadvantage of the hook grip is that at the initial stage of training, its use can be quite painful and uncomfortable, but it is worth accepting. Eventually, the weightlifter gets used to it completely and any feeling of discomfort goes away.
On the day of the competition, the athlete must clean and lubricate the skin of the palms with a special lotion to prevent skin tears, which can lead to unpleasant accidents. In addition, I advise you before the exercises with a barbell to apply chalk on the palms and wrap your thumbs with lifting tape.
I advise sportsmen to do open grip exercises from time to time to improve their grip technique in general. To do this, they perform muscle cleans, muscle snatches, from fifteen to twenty wrist flexions with a bar once or twice a week. They also train using a pinch grip with weightlifting plates and perform exercises with dumbbells.