...a clean or a snatch, a little piece of me dies inside. Seriously.
The other day a fairly experienced athlete at the gym (who shall remain nameless) said to me something to the effect of, "Huh, we don't really cover the hook grip that much. Plus it hurts my thumbs, so I don't really do it anymore (insert chuckle here)." I almost started crying.
I pointed out to said athlete that we've posted about the kook grip many times over the years, including THIS RECENT POST HERE, that we coach it (in varying degrees) in nearly every class that includes snatches or cleans, and that I've actually seen him/her hook gripping the bar previously... on multiple occasions. Said athlete then looked at me with sadface and pleaded, "Well, yeah sometimes I do it, but it still hurts. But, like, what about my thumbs?"
WHAT ABOUT MY DYING SOUL?!
Kidding. Sort of. But seriously folks, I know the hook grip can be uncomfortable but it really does help, and it becomes quite essential when snatching or cleaning with any weight (or rep scheme) of significance. I realize that some athletes have small hands, but before you start feeling too sorry for your small hands and little thumbs consider this:
That little guy weighs 123 pounds and there he is snatching 289 pounds. I'd be willing to bet his hands are much smaller than any other gentleman in our gym, but trust me he did not lift that weight without a hook grip, and that barbell has the same 28mm diameter as the "red bars" we use.
As mentioned in the linked post above you can tape your thumbs to help with the initial discomfort, and we can show you how (that linked post has a video showing how most of us do it) - we provide free tape at the gym so use it (but please don't abuse it)! You can also stretch your thumbs to help adjust to the position required in the hook grip - come to class on Thursday and we'll show you a little stretch that might do the trick over time.
Still not convinced? Ok, have fun with the hang power cleans on this one then...
WOD for 08-11-16:
Alternating Every 90 Seconds For 4 Rounds (12 Total Minutes):
100m Kettlebell Farmer's Walk, HAP (pick load)
40m Bear Crawl
HAP = "heavy as possible." Yes, the farmer's walk should be unbroken.
Hang Power Cleans @ 165/115 lbs
Burpee Box Jumps @ 24/20 in