Kettlebell Hookgrip

Discussion in 'Kettlebell' started by watchnerd, Jan 20, 2019.

  1. watchnerd

    watchnerd Triple-Digit Post Count

    As a weightlifter, it's pretty standard practice for my sport to use the hook grip for barbell pulls (cleans, snatches, clean pulls, snatch pulls, clean deadlifts, snatch deadlifts).

    Many of the above barbell moves are ballistic, and I've found myself much more comfortable using a barbell-type hook grip for kettlebells swings (not really applicable to TGUs, where I use a crush grip) than a standard pronated grip.

    Does anybody else do this?
  2. Maine-ah KB

    Maine-ah KB Quadruple-Digit Post Count

    I have never done this for ballistics, I have done it for loaded carries though.
    the only down side I can think of is if you try and hook grip for high rep ballistics (particularly snatches) you'll end up ripping you thumb open. potentially as weights get heavier the handle will get thick enough that hook grip will become challenging.
    that said if it works for you go for it.
    Oscar likes this.
  3. watchnerd

    watchnerd Triple-Digit Post Count

    Thanks for your reply.

    In my case, all my bells are competition bells so the handle width stays the same (33mm); my current bell collection goes up to 40 kg.
    Maine-ah KB likes this.
  4. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Dir. of Community Engagement Staff Member Senior Instructor

    GS people, when they talk about a hook grip, usually mean thumb over fingers, not the other way around.

  5. watchnerd

    watchnerd Triple-Digit Post Count

    Yes, I've gathered that.

    I'm just curious if anyone uses the more usual barbell hook grip (the other way around, thumb inside).

    For swings, it seems to work fine.

    I haven't tried it with snatches or any other ballistics.
  6. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Dir. of Community Engagement Staff Member Senior Instructor

    You'd be the first person I'd have heard of to do it that way, but hey, if it works, go for it.

    Be sure you're in safe surroundings in case you lose your grip on the bell.

    watchnerd likes this.
  7. watchnerd

    watchnerd Triple-Digit Post Count

    I'll be in my depopulated garage gym, so any damage would be merely property damage.

    Interestingly, I've never had a hook grip fail on me....I've quit from pain, though.

    Love the security of the hook grip, but man does it hurt sometimes.
  8. GeoffreyLevens

    GeoffreyLevens More than 500 posts

    I would think that the rapid increase in pressure from the ballistic acceleration would make the pain level sky rocket. Interested to hear how this turns out (currently on barbell only program but my kb's are whispering at me over by the wall)
  9. watchnerd

    watchnerd Triple-Digit Post Count

    Well, I use the hook grip for barbell snatches and and cleans, as well, where the acceleration is also high and weight much heavier.

    So far, barbell hurts far worse, but it's shorter duration and fewer reps.
  10. Papa Georgio

    Papa Georgio Triple-Digit Post Count

    You'd behoove yourself to learn the conventional grip for your kettlebell exercises. I can't see you efficiently hook gripping when doing cleans, snatches, and hand-to-hand transfers. Plus, part of doing kettlebell ballistics is developing your grip strength. If you don't feel confident in your conventional grip, then move to a lighter kettlebell and work it up slowly.

    Good Luck!
    rickyw likes this.
  11. watchnerd

    watchnerd Triple-Digit Post Count

    No insult, but:

    a) Kettlebells are quite light compared what I use in barbells, so far less challenging to grip strength than, for example, doing 100kg RDLs with a barbell for reps without straps

    b) Training a conventional grip has no competitive use for me -- I use the hook grip in weightlifting competition.

    c) KB cleans and snatches aren't on my 'to-do' list -- I do those with a barbell. I'm not planning to take up GS (yet). But, yes, it wouldn't be a good grip for any hand-to-hand stuff.

    d) If I really want to work on conventional grip, I get it anyway from loaded carry training (start with conventional grip, switch to hook grip once that tires), which are far heavier than what I swing
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2019
  12. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Dir. of Community Engagement Staff Member Senior Instructor

    The more explosively you swing them, the more challenging to your grip them become. I can also rep various deadlifts with 100 kg but I cannot swing a 32 kg kettlebell with one hand to my own satisfaction.

    Are you trying to find assistance exercises for your barbell lifts? What is/are your goal(s)?

    fractal likes this.
  13. watchnerd

    watchnerd Triple-Digit Post Count

    I use barbell lifts as my barbell assistance work (Snatch DL, Snatch Pulls, Clean Pulls, RDLs, Klokov press, OH / front / high bar squats, push press, push jerk, etc).

    I use KBs for conditioning (swings) or prehab (TGU, windmill, waiter walks).

    I’m not saying KB swings don’t train grip, but it doesn’t seem above and beyond what I already get elsewhere (explosive via Oly lifts, fatigue with farmers walks and pulls)
  14. Steve Freides

    Steve Freides Dir. of Community Engagement Staff Member Senior Instructor

    @watchnerd, I'm not sure there is a question to be answered here. Please post a video of your swing, with the grip of your choice, and we can continue the conversation.

    It's certainly reasonable that your current training gives you everything you need in the way of grip and that you want conditioning. At StrongFirst, the thing we value the most is correct form in the interest of both safety and performance. And for the swing in particular, the most important thing, after correct form, is explosiveness in execution, performed repeatedly.

    fractal likes this.
  15. watchnerd

    watchnerd Triple-Digit Post Count

    Oh the only question was the original one: if anyone else does it.

    So far the answer appears to be “no”.
    Steve Freides likes this.

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