...a clean or a snatch, a little piece of me dies inside.  Seriously.  

A few weeks ago a fairly experienced athlete at the gym (who shall remain nameless... don't worry, A.T., it wasn't you LOL) 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.  The picture of Michelle above crushing some snatches from 17.3 with a hook grip has since made me feel better.   

I pointed out to said nameless athlete that we've posted about the kook grip many times over the years, including THIS POST HERE which we've shared several times, 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 kinda 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 Wednesday 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, while your partner waits for you LOL...

WOD for 03-22-17:

With a Partner For Total Time:

BUY-IN: 1,000m Row SHARED

Then, BOTH Athletes Complete...

10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1

Hang Power Cleans @ 155/110 lbs

20-18-16-14-12-10-8-6-4-2

Box Jumps @ 24/20 in

BUY-OUT: 1,000m Row SHARED

 

***The rows may be shared/partitioned in any fashion (does not have to be evenly split), and the round of 10 Hang Power Cleans cannot start until the first 1,000m is complete.  

***Both partners must complete the 10-to-1 / 20-to-2 sequence, with one partner working at a time to complete a full round before the other partner starts their full round (e.g. Partner A performs 10 Hang Power Cleans and 20 Box Jumps, then Partner B performs 10 Hang Power Cleans and 20 Box Jumps).