1. Acclimation Period
There is no beating around the bush here, but using the hook grip is fairly uncomfortable when first starting out. Typically, athletes will experience mild pain on the thumb due to the pressure the barbell places on it. Now, this discomfort does decrease over time, although, not without constant practice and acclimation. If you’re brand new to using a hook grip, then account for a 2-3 month acclimation period.
For anyone just starting out, there are a couple ways to decrease discomfort on the thumbs and to acclimate to this grip style in a progressive manner.
Try using thumb tape to limit direct pressure.
Work with hook grip on lighter sets to get used to the pressure.
Perform holds at the top of lifts using hook grip.
The best advice for anyone new to the hook grip is to use it knowing that it’s going to be uncomfortable and a little painful. It gets better, and as your lifting experience increases, the discomfort in the thumbs decrease.
2.Clunky Text Thumbs
Alright, this point might be a little subjective, but after years of hook grip my thumbs seem to be a bit worse at texting. Sorry, mom — that’s totally why I didn’t text back. After years of using hook grip, the thumbs develop thicker skin to accommodate for heavier loads, and it does make texting a tad tougher when it comes to pure accuracy.
Now, obviously, you can still text perfectly fine if you’re always doing hook grip and this point is more so for jest. Yet, there is truth to the thicker, more callused skin around the thumbs and their accuracy when quickly firing off texts.
The hook grip is a phenomenal method for promoting a secure grip on barbells and dumbbells. It’s a grip style that can be used by every type of strength athlete and it is useful in competition. There is an uncomfortable acclimation period, but after an athlete conquers this time frame — the sky is the limit with this grip style.