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  1. #1
    Registered User KLR650's Avatar
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    Deadlift under/over grip

    I think I already know the answer to this but maybe just for clarification.
    What is the justification behind using an over/under hand grip when doing a deadlift?
    Like I said I think I can see a reason (working different arm muscles) but on the other hand I can also see that grip destabilizing the weight and causing the bar to rotate/twist as you come up and putting strain in the wrong place (like your back or SI joint).

    I'll assume that you're supposed to switch the over/under grip to an under/over grip to even things out.
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  2. #2
    Registered User Oceanside's Avatar
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    what rolls OUT of one grip rolls INTO the other.

    the over/under offsets your weakest hand for a brief time
    Last edited by Oceanside; 03-05-2010 at 05:35 PM.
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  3. #3
    Registered User KLR650's Avatar
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    Alright fair enough. So long as it doesn't put strain on your lower back.

    I'd just never actually heard anyone recommend that before. But after poking around and talking to people it's the preferred way of doing it. Just seemed counterintuitive to me.
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    Originally Posted by KLR650 View Post
    Alright fair enough. So long as it doesn't put strain on your lower back.

    I'd just never actually heard anyone recommend that before. But after poking around and talking to people it's the preferred way of doing it. Just seemed counterintuitive to me.
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  5. #5
    Registered User Oceanside's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KLR650 View Post
    Alright fair enough. So long as it doesn't put strain on your lower back.

    I'd just never actually heard anyone recommend that before. But after poking around and talking to people it's the preferred way of doing it. Just seemed counterintuitive to me.
    don't hurt yourself on my account..
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  6. #6
    Registered User Stenn's Avatar
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    The over/under grip is the best grip for holding onto the bar. It doesn't cause any trouble, as far as I know. Many folks swear that you're supposed to switch hands between reps or sets, but I don't and have never been bothered by it. I've run into others who don't switch and they also didn't experience any trouble from it.

    BTW, I don't switch because I've broken my right arm a couple of times so that it's hard to make it the "under" hand.
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    Registered User KLR650's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Oceanside View Post
    don't hurt yourself on my account..
    No worries. It's not like I ask questions in a vacuum. I appreciate you responding.
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  8. #8
    Registered User KLR650's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by sytennison View Post
    The over/under grip is the best grip for holding onto the bar. It doesn't cause any trouble, as far as I know. Many folks swear that you're supposed to switch hands between reps or sets, but I don't and have never been bothered by it. I've run into others who don't switch and they also didn't experience any trouble from it.

    BTW, I don't switch because I've broken my right arm a couple of times so that it's hard to make it the "under" hand.
    Well I'll talk it over with the doc. I injured by QL pretty badly so when this grip thing came up I perked up my ears because it sounded like a good way to introduce torque into the movement. Torque is the last thing my back needs right now
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  9. #9
    Registered User Stenn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KLR650 View Post
    Well I'll talk it over with the doc. I injured by QL pretty badly so when this grip thing came up I perked up my ears because it sounded like a good way to introduce torque into the movement. Torque is the last thing my back needs right now
    The over/under grip doesn't put any torque on the spine. It loads the hands, arms and shoulders a little differently, but that's as far as the effect goes. From the scapulae to the floor, it's the same old shyte.
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  10. #10
    Registered User gittinbig's Avatar
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    I've always used the over/under grip for deadlifts and never experienced any "torque" problems, even when maxing out on my lifts. I also dont rotate from one set to the next just simply because the left under/ right over just feels more natural to me and I dont feel that it has affected my symmetry in any way. Just my two cents though, for what it's worth. I do strongly recommend it though, because as another poster wisely pointed out, if the bar rolls out of one hand, it rolls into the other.
    Because I like it...
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  11. #11
    Road Warrior DNG's Avatar
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    My take:

    Symmetry is important - and you cannot get that with the under/over. IMO - get Versa grips or straps, and the issue doesn't arise any more.
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  12. #12
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    Double overhand , FTW
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  13. #13
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    Having a underhand grip does put the biceps in danger so be careful. I dont use it cause of this reason. If your grip isnt strong enough for both over hand then strengthen your grip. Making adjustments for weak grip isnt the answer working on your grip is. Having said that a lot of people do use the over/under grip without problems but like I said it does put the biceps at more risk for an injury.
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    If you have any history of sacro issues I would strongly recommend against the switch grip, it does induce torque to the underhand grip side sacro. Better yet if you have sacro problems dead at your own risk. I used to love deads but I enjoy living sacro pain free or at least significantly reduced a whole lot more.
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  15. #15
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    Originally Posted by *STEVE* View Post
    Double overhand , FTW
    Me too. Versa gripps too.
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    Originally Posted by geer_matt View Post
    Having a underhand grip does put the biceps in danger so be careful. I dont use it cause of this reason. If your grip isnt strong enough for both over hand then strengthen your grip. Making adjustments for weak grip isnt the answer working on your grip is. Having said that a lot of people do use the over/under grip without problems but like I said it does put the biceps at more risk for an injury.
    The biceps is at risk only if sh!t form is used. Isn't that the case with any lift?

    I have small hands and wrists, so my grip is never going to keep up with what I can deadlift. Over/under grip has worked great for me, though at some point I'm still going to have to switch to straps.
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  17. #17
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    Originally Posted by geer_matt View Post
    Having a underhand grip does put the biceps in danger so be careful. I dont use it cause of this reason. If your grip isnt strong enough for both over hand then strengthen your grip. Making adjustments for weak grip isnt the answer working on your grip is. Having said that a lot of people do use the over/under grip without problems but like I said it does put the biceps at more risk for an injury.
    The two guys that I've talked to who have torn a bicep while deadlifting were both lifting 700+ pounds. I figure when I start lifting that much, THEN I can start worrying about my biceps.

    I'm not exactly sure what tears a bicep during a deadlift, but I assume it has something to do with trying to raise the bar by flexing the arms at the elbows. As has been discussed in the O35 before, you can disengage the biceps from the deadlift by contracting the triceps.

    Hey, has anyone seen an actual study on deadlifting and bicep tears or are folks (like myself) just making this stuff up? The same goes for the spinal torsion theory. Has anyone studied torque on the spine during deadlifting or are folks just quoting their doctors/chiropractors who don't lift.
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  18. #18
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    OP - if the goal is to legitimately (aka "raw") move the weight, the over/under is most likely your best bet. Pulling heavy deads with a unstrapped double overhand or hook grip is not easy. Typically a lot of people can pull no where near their 1RM with an unaided (straps/Versas) double overhand or hook grip compared to over/under, but again you need to establish WHY you are deadlifting and what is your goal as a result. There is nothing wrong with straps/etc, but as soon as you start adding things like that, wraps, etc you are no longer lifting "raw" if that is important to you.

    If your gym allows it, use chalk.
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  19. #19
    The One & Only OTL! Old-Time-Lifter's Avatar
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    The over/under grip is really for pl'ing. If you're not into pl'ing do it however you want.

    I do have a partially detached left bicep (which used to be my under hand) and whereas I can't tell you how exactly I injuried it I suspect it was from doing deads. Now days I use a double over hand with straps just to be safe. For some reason my brain refuses to let me put my right hand under if I didn't thnk about it I'd walk up and grab the bar with an under/over to this day.
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    The One & Only OTL! Old-Time-Lifter's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BuckSpin View Post
    OP - if the goal is to legitimately (aka "raw") move the weight, the over/under is most likely your best bet. Pulling heavy deads with a unstrapped double overhand or hook grip is not easy. Typically a lot of people can pull no where near their 1RM with an unaided (straps/Versas) double overhand or hook grip compared to over/under, but again you need to establish WHY you are deadlifting and what is your goal as a result. There is nothing wrong with straps/etc, but as soon as you start adding things like that, wraps, etc you are no longer lifting "raw" if that is important to you.

    If your gym allows it, use chalk.
    This is especially true if you have small meaty hands with stubs for fingers.
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  21. #21
    Bobblehead GnomusMaximus's Avatar
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    Torque or twisting the bar shouldn't be an issue. Your arms should not be the thing moving the weight. They are going to be flexed of course, but if you are twisting out of the bottom something is wrong.
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  22. #22
    Bobblehead GnomusMaximus's Avatar
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    If I remember right there was/is a lifter named Brett Mikesell (sp?). He had the WR in the squat for a while. He was missing one or two fingers so he struggled with the DL. I think he has some stuff he wrote about grip. he became something of an expert because it naturally was an issue for him. Might be floating out on the net somewhere. I'm sure some of the more PL oriented guys could give you better info.
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  23. #23
    Registered User Stenn's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by GnomusMaximus View Post
    Torque or twisting the bar shouldn't be an issue. Your arms should not be the thing moving the weight. They are going to be flexed of course, but if you are twisting out of the bottom something is wrong.
    Yeah, that's what I was thinking too. When I deadlift with an over/under grip, the bar comes straight up without twisting so I don't see how the grip could lead to a twisting of the spine.

    Here's link to a vid of my last deadlift PR. Is the bar twisted? Does my spine look twisted? I don't think so.
    http://vimeo.com/8415028
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    Originally Posted by geer_matt View Post
    Having a underhand grip does put the biceps in danger
    Yes and I have injured mine due to this when deadlifting.
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  25. #25
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    Originally Posted by sytennison View Post
    Yeah, that's what I was thinking too. When I deadlift with an over/under grip, the bar comes straight up without twisting so I don't see how the grip could lead to a twisting of the spine.

    Here's link to a vid of my last deadlift PR. Is the bar twisted? Does my spine look twisted? I don't think so.
    http://vimeo.com/8415028
    Nice lift, I keep chasing a pr myself but I have a bad habit of kicking my ass up to fast. I used to use sumo in meets so kind of re learning DL with conventional form so it won't be a true PR, but you get the idea. Owe you a rep on recharge.

    To the OP, are you DLing to improve grip strength or to PL or are you using it for back strength/growth? If you are looking for strength and growth and do not care about PLing then use straps if it makes you feel better. If you are trying to increase grip strength through DL, you might wanna consider better methods. I have pulled over 500lbs in competition and I can honestly say grip was never once a factor in my lift fail/succeed. I have always used an over under grip and basically looked at my hands as nothing more then hooks and my arms as basically a chain connecting the hooks to the bar. Tearing a bicep on a DL would seem hard to me especially in an over under grip as you would pretty much have to flex the elbow to put undue strain on the biceps and an over under grip would be a better way to keep from flexing.
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  26. #26
    No longer in denial Nikonguy's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by BuckSpin View Post
    OP - if the goal is to legitimately (aka "raw") move the weight, the over/under is most likely your best bet. Pulling heavy deads with a unstrapped double overhand or hook grip is not easy. Typically a lot of people can pull no where near their 1RM with an unaided (straps/Versas) double overhand or hook grip compared to over/under, but again you need to establish WHY you are deadlifting and what is your goal as a result. There is nothing wrong with straps/etc, but as soon as you start adding things like that, wraps, etc you are no longer lifting "raw" if that is important to you.
    ^^^ these vvv

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  27. #27
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    Great question OP. I've aways wondered what the benefit is, now I know.
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    If you dont believe me about the danger to the biceps maybe this guy will convince you. http://videos.bodybuilding.com/video...-demonstration
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    I tried over/under and the biceps on my under hand hurt like hell when I was finished. I use double overhand now.
    Last edited by jdtemple; 03-06-2010 at 08:00 AM.
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  30. #30
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    Originally Posted by mlandis View Post
    Great question OP. I've aways wondered what the benefit is, now I know.
    ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ I'll second that. I've done over-under simply because that's WHAT I was taught,but noone ever told me why. Honestly, I heard once that alternating the over-under keeps forearms from becoming asymmetrical - but I've heard a couple of good farts too - heard it and moved on.
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