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View Full Version : Grip and Rack Pulls



Maki Riddington
09-05-2006, 09:44 PM
The ART guy I go to noticed that my left para spinal muscle is very developed compared to my right side. As a result I have some imbalances I have to fix. One of them being my piss poor grip that has caused this problem.

I normally pull over under and this is why I have this problem now. He mentioned that I should drop the mixed grip and pull overhand. My deadlift has dropped about 100 pounds as a result.

I've thrown in rack pulls using an overhand grip. Normally I pull with just chalk, no wraps or a belt (don't believe in using those aids). I just pulled a 405 for a single for 2 sets today with the pins being below the knees just above mid shin.

My question is, what are you guys/gals rack pulling using an overhand grip with no aids (chalk included). I'd be interested in knowing what your weight is along with your pulling weight. It'll give me an idea of where I am and where I should be.

Thanks.

Ironminded
09-05-2006, 09:50 PM
Mak-
I currently weigh in at 225, my heaviest DL is 515 raw [no straps, wraps, belt or suit], I honestly havn't ever pulled that much in the rack. All the rack training I have ever done has been working on my grip, so I usually don't have sets any lower then 4 reps.

Keep in mind though that I don't have any training or coaching behind me, and this was all after about three months of continual pulling. So your millage may vary.

Anthony
09-06-2006, 06:39 AM
I'd be interested in hearing more about how the muscles on one side of your spine stabalize more than the other side based on your grip.

I'm not sure what I could max with an overhand grip, but I do speed sets with 275 and find them very easy.

McVein
09-06-2006, 06:49 AM
if i was to alternate grip every session..eg left under, right over one day..and switch it up the next day??? would that stop my muscles developing unevenly?

kad
09-06-2006, 07:01 AM
I use an over under grip as well. Left hand over, right hand under. I believe my left erector spinae (http://www.exrx.net/Muscles/ErectorSpinae.html) muscle is more developed than my right one. Is this the same muscle you're talking about? I've also got a slight case of scoliosis, which may have led to the imbalance.

I recently pulled a 365 deadlift at a bodyweight of 175, no aids. I don't have much experience with rack pulls, but when I was able to do them at the gym at home I was working with 315-335 for reps (at the same BW).

WillKuenzel
09-06-2006, 08:48 AM
I'm a bit odd in that I only pull sumo with an under/over grip. If I use an alternate grip for absolutely anything else I use an over/under. I hope through using either I've stayed relatively balanced. Its not really on purpose that I do it though but just more out of comfort.

TwiloMike
09-06-2006, 08:57 AM
Maki, do you consistently use the same over/under grip or do you vary it? I make sure to vary my over/under from set to set.

JustinASU
09-06-2006, 09:09 AM
I use the same over/under grip for every pull (unless I'm doing RDLs). I haven't seen any imbalances because of it.

Bob
09-06-2006, 09:38 AM
My question is, what are you guys/gals rack pulling using an overhand grip with no aids (chalk included). I'd be interested in knowing what your weight is along with your pulling weight. It'll give me an idea of where I am and where I should be.

Maki.. you are getting responses all over the place.. let me see if I can answer your specific research questions.. although my totals are far below yours.. and I also have a real grip problem.

Raw DL - no straps, belts, chalk = 395 x 2 or 335x7 (mixed grip)
Raw DL = 335 x 2 (overhand grips) or 275 x 5
Raw Rack - 6 inches high = 425 x 2 (mixed grip)
Raw Rack - 6 inches = 345 x 2 (overhand grip)
Rack Rack - 10 inches = 455 x 2 (mixed grip)
Rack rack - 10 inches = 355 x 2 (overhand grip)

Guido
09-06-2006, 10:19 AM
I use mixed grip whenever I deadlift anything over 315, so I'm not sure what my max double-overhand grip is. The sets I do of 315 on, say, straight-legged deads, or on my lighter regular dead sets seem pretty easy, though my grip does start to fatigue after, say, 5 reps. I could probably pull 405 double overhand for one if I had to guess, though my mixed-grip max is 515. That's a pretty significant difference.

JustinASU
09-06-2006, 11:04 AM
I'll add that my bodyweight is 240 at the moment. I can pull about 550 mixed grip from the floor right now, but I doubt I could get much higher than 455-470 double overhand.

Maki Riddington
09-06-2006, 11:51 AM
I use the same over/under grip for every pull (unless I'm doing RDLs). I haven't seen any imbalances because of it.

That's the problem. You can't see this imbalance.

For those of you who have asked, no I do not switch my grip up. I always pull using a left underhand grip and a right overhand grip.

Maki Riddington
09-06-2006, 11:52 AM
Mak-
I currently weigh in at 225, my heaviest DL is 515 raw [no straps, wraps, belt or suit], I honestly havn't ever pulled that much in the rack. All the rack training I have ever done has been working on my grip, so I usually don't have sets any lower then 4 reps.

Keep in mind though that I don't have any training or coaching behind me, and this was all after about three months of continual pulling. So your millage may vary.

Wow, ok so I'm not using you as an example.:)

Maki Riddington
09-06-2006, 11:53 AM
Maki.. you are getting responses all over the place.. let me see if I can answer your specific research questions.. although my totals are far below yours.. and I also have a real grip problem.

Raw DL - no straps, belts, chalk = 395 x 2 or 335x7 (mixed grip)
Raw DL = 335 x 2 (overhand grips) or 275 x 5
Raw Rack - 6 inches high = 425 x 2 (mixed grip)
Raw Rack - 6 inches = 345 x 2 (overhand grip)
Rack Rack - 10 inches = 455 x 2 (mixed grip)
Rack rack - 10 inches = 355 x 2 (overhand grip)


The rack pulls that are overhand, are you using chalk?

Bob
09-06-2006, 07:25 PM
The rack pulls that are overhand, are you using chalk?
Nope.. my gym doesn't allow chalk.. so it's totally Raw...

af92
09-06-2006, 07:27 PM
Overhand, no chalk, all the way baby!

I've never seen any sense in using a mixed grip for anything. I know it helps with the lift and you can lift more. But in your case it seems to put up an imbalance which I know can really suck.

-josh

ps - Maki, your articles rule btw.

McVein
09-07-2006, 04:33 AM
is it ok to switch your mixed grip between sessions...?? will that help?

Bob
09-07-2006, 02:55 PM
is it ok to switch your mixed grip between sessions...?? will that help?
Sure.. it's OK to change your grip ALL the time.
I usually do my "light" sets with Overhand grip...
and then once I get where I'm droping the weight b/c of grip instead of my back being tired (usually around 75%).. I switch to mixed grip.
And then I switch the mix grip every set...
although my strongest grip is left-over w/ right-under...
I think the alternating mix keeps the side balanced...

But when I'm going for a PR, then I go with the stronger grip.. while the warmup sets are the other mix.

bjohnso
09-07-2006, 05:20 PM
I deadlifted 405 off the floor with an overhand grip with no aids (not even chalk). At the time I believe I weighed about 210-220. I've also felt that the mixed grip affects the development of the spinal muscles differently. I think from now on I will use an overhand grip, even if it means having to pull light-ish weights while my grip develops better.

Maki Riddington
09-07-2006, 05:53 PM
Great comments.

In several weeks I will go back to pulling overhand from the floor. I hope to get up to 455 at a bodyweight of 195. That is with no chalk, belt and doing so using a overhand grip.

Anthony
09-08-2006, 05:33 AM
I'd be interested in hearing more about how the muscles on one side of your spine stabalize more than the other side based on your grip.

:withstupi

Clifford Gillmore
09-08-2006, 05:45 AM
I've done 380 x 10 at knee height with Double Overhand, and nearly 500 with a 3"ish rom. I'm simply weak with speed.

WillKuenzel
09-08-2006, 05:50 AM
I'd be interested in hearing more about how the muscles on one side of your spine stabalize more than the other side based on your grip.
Unless the body is perfectly balanced all the way around, if you are using a mixed grip then you can very likely be pulling one way or the other. Ever seen guys deadlift and one side of the bar rotates away from them? They're pulling back on one side and the other side is just coming straight up.

Somebody with a protracted shoulder girdle could have the same issues. One shoulder could be pulled forward slightly. That way changing the angle of the pull for that side and its counter-part. If one side has to pull back further than the other can you see where a muscle imbalance in the spine might occur?


In saying that, Maki, have you looked into causes other than just the mixed grip? Shoulder mobility? Hip flexiblity? There could be other things causing it than just a mixed grip. Or was that what Anthony was getting at?

Sensei
09-08-2006, 10:27 AM
My question is, what are you guys/gals rack pulling using an overhand grip with no aids (chalk included). I'd be interested in knowing what your weight is along with your pulling weight. It'll give me an idea of where I am and where I should be.

Thanks.
I don't know about rack pulls because I always use a mixed grip or straps with it, but I have pulled 480 with a mixed grip and I think my best with an overhand grip was around 350. I weigh 195-200 usually.

Maki Riddington
09-08-2006, 10:29 AM
Homey,

Hip flexibility is very poor. I know that I have other areas I need to work on releasing. Mobility in various areas are very poor due to tight muscles.

bdckr
09-08-2006, 12:02 PM
Double overhand off the floor (never did rack pulls), no chalk, 305 lbs @ bw of 156 lbs.

Only deadlifted x 2 months so far, but grip training x 1 1/2 years. My grip feels like it's good for more, but my back and legs need to get stronger.

johnnytang24
09-09-2006, 06:32 PM
Here's my progression, as I warm up:

Use double overhand until it becomes too difficult
Switch to hook grip until it becomes too difficult
Use monkey grip (alternate sides)

So for me, I'll use double overhand until 405-455 (depending on the number of reps), then use the hook until 495 (depending on the number of reps), and monkey anything over that. Anything in the rack, I use straps; I figure rack pulls will always be too high even for mixed grip.

I'm 200lbs, I use chalk starting when necessary, and I don't have a belt. I don't know if this is correct, but if I were you, I wouldn't sacrifice weight on any of my deadlift variations to bring up my grip; I would use straps as necessary and do extra grip work to bring it up to par.

Thanks.

Westsidemonster
09-10-2006, 03:22 AM
I've always used an alternate grip, or a power grip, however you wanna call it, and I've never noticed an imbalance in my lower back! What is this non-sense all about??

Maki Riddington
09-10-2006, 09:25 PM
What is this non-sense all about??

Call it what you may, but it's not something you will notice unless someone actually shows you. My ART guy showed me by palpating one area and then the overdeveloped spot. There was a big difference in the strain I felt as he was releasing the soft tissues.

It's not like I'm doomed to die or forever suffer from postural issues. However if I want to minimize the amount of aches and pains I get I must try to keep the level of dysfunction in my muscles at a minimum. In other words I want to create a balance.

Most people don't even realize that they function with problems. They simply ignore the aches and pains until they turn into injuries down the line. There are various levels. Most of us are at a grade 1/2 level.

Westsidemonster
09-12-2006, 03:05 AM
Oh, ok, I see. I don't even know if I have an imbalance back there. You are right, we should take care of any imbalance. What I would do if I felt an imbalance, I would switch grips, that's all, that should be able to do the job. If you can deadlift the same amount of weight with either grip, then there shouldn't be an imbalance.

WillKuenzel
09-12-2006, 04:59 AM
Maki, at the powerlifting meet I competeted in, there were 2 guys there that swore by the hook grip. Both pulled over 600 (don't remember exact numbers) with the hook grip. One competeted in the 198's and the other in the 220's. Its a touch grip to learn to use but might be something to help.

Maki Riddington
09-12-2006, 03:21 PM
Thanks Homey.

WillKuenzel
10-20-2006, 07:01 AM
Wondering about an update, Maki, if you have one. Have things changed any or have you looked at other ways of correcting the imbalance other than just fixing your deadlift grip.

As a side note, I pulled 495 from mid shin with the hook grip. Its definitely a very painful grip but you can get a lot out of it. With just double overhand I'm getting probably just over 315 before I can't hold it anymore.

Stumprrp
10-20-2006, 07:17 AM
this is interesting, my best dl is an easy 475 raw over under, best rack pull is an easy 585 from low knee both no straps, however ive tried a 1 handed dead with 185 and could only grip it with my left hand overhand, weird.

ShockBoxer
10-20-2006, 11:50 AM
A hundred pounds is about the difference between double over and mixed for me as well. I can do a double of 225 double over and a single 315 mixed. If I want to do any sort of work that fatigues my back and legs instead of my grip I have to use mixed, for reps, or strap up, for heavy singles.