Hook Gripping... a love-hate relationship. Hate it as a lifter coming on the scene, but learn to love it over time. Why? Because it's 100% essential to boosting your lifts over time. Chances are you will try to avoid hook gripping the beginning of your weightlifting career, but a regular grip will only take you so far.
What is it?
The hook grip is a grip that will help you hold onto the barbell much more easily and effectively. It'll help you have a firmer grip, as well as help you with the turnover as you catch the barbell in the snatch or clean.
What is it used for?
For starters, the hook grip is primarily used in the Olympic Weightlifting and CrossFit worlds. It is used in Powerlifting, although less frequently due to being able to utilize a mixed grip when deadlifting. In the world of Olympic Weightlifting the hook grip is used when Snatching or Cleaning. When utilizing this grip, you are ensuring a secure grip on the barbell when accelerating.
So how do you hook grip properly?
Push the web of your hand between your thumb and index finger into the barbell.
Wrap your thumb, pointer and index fingers around the bar. Don't simply pinch your thumb with your two fingers
From here, pull your fingers/thumb farther around the bar... which translates to your big knuckles facing the ground
You're ready to go!
To Wrap Up
The hook grip itself is very very uncomfortable at the start. BUT, if you regularly start hook gripping every time you pull the barbell, your thumbs and surrounding area will stretch out a bit, making it easier over time. It's also almost guaranteed that you or someone close to you will complain about their thumbs hurting when they start hook gripping. Just take it from Blaine in the video above! This will get better in time! California Strength says it best: