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Thread: Sumo deadlift grip question

  1. #1
    GFH Lones Green's Avatar
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    Sumo deadlift grip question

    Often when I pull sumo, I have a problem with my overhand opening up on my leg towards the lockout. Its not a grip strength issue, I'm pulling back hard and my hand scrapes my leg and my fingers tend to open up.

    I grip fairly close, right where the rough starts on the bar. My arms are straight down in front of me.

    I've noticed this before, but it really pissed me off today. Its holding back my sumo deadlift training a little bit, its hard to focus on driving my glutes through when my hand is opening on my leg.

    Obviously I don't have this problem conventional because I can grip the bar right outside my legs, but my sumo is slightly stronger and how I pull at meets.

    Something that may contribute to this, is I hook both my thumbs on my underhand and overhand. This may be shortening the distance my fingers go around the bar, and if I could get them a little further around the bar, maybe my fingertips wouldn't catch on my leg.

    Baby powder doesn't help much, but shaving my thighs helped a little bit before my last meet.

    I was just wondering if anyone else had this problem or had any tips.

    Thanks!
    23 years old
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  2. #2
    Getting stronger Donnajo's Avatar
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    Just a thought but what if you used wrist wraps that were wrapped real tight. I know you have wrapped mine so tight before that I could not open my fingers.

  3. #3
    Senior Member SELK's Avatar
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    Sounds dumb, but file your fingernails and make sure they are smooth as possible. This plus baby powder usually helps. Still on a max effort sumo pull my quads will often find a way to get torn open.
    960/530/749 @ 242
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  4. #4
    TJW Keith's Avatar
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    Out of curiosity, why do you hook your thumbs?
    Age: 24 Height: 5'9" Weight: 185

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    People need to quit ****ing asking what they need to do, exercise wise, until they reinforce their technique - Dave Tate

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  5. #5
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    move your hands out some

  6. #6
    Senior Member jtteg_x's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SELK View Post
    Sounds dumb, but file your fingernails and make sure they are smooth as possible. This plus baby powder usually helps. Still on a max effort sumo pull my quads will often find a way to get torn open.
    not dumb at all. I always cut my nails before I pull sumo because if I don't, I get 4 bleeding scratch marks on my left thigh. that is whether I use a "hook" grip or not.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith View Post
    Out of curiosity, why do you hook your thumbs?
    Curious too. I don't have an issue on grip and I pull sumo, but I think I would have grip problems if I did hook my thumbs. I could be totally ignorant here but it doesn't seem like there's any reason to hook your thumbs when pulling.

  8. #8
    GFH Lones Green's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith View Post
    Out of curiosity, why do you hook your thumbs?
    I've been told to do it since I have long enough fingers, it makes my grip very strong but may be the cause of my hand coming open. I think if I just move my hands out some I should be fine
    23 years old
    6'3, 308 lbs

    825 Squat
    470 Bench
    645 Deadlift
    1905 total
    www.atlargenutrition.com

  9. #9
    TJW Keith's Avatar
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    If you don't hook your thumbs, is your grip an issue still? If not, I'd ditch the hooking instead of increasing your ROM by moving your hands out wider.
    Age: 24 Height: 5'9" Weight: 185

    Gym PRs: 365/240/440=1045

    People need to quit ****ing asking what they need to do, exercise wise, until they reinforce their technique - Dave Tate

    The never-ending pursuit of becoming Strong(er) - My Westside journal

  10. #10
    powerlifter in training Liftersize's Avatar
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    dont alot of sumo pullers grip closer than that. like maybe 1 or 2 fingers into the smooth? That way your hands pass through the crevices between your groin and your legs plus you reduce rom a little more.
    Current Stats: 6'1 185
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  11. #11
    Lexen Xtreme
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lones Green View Post
    I've been told to do it since I have long enough fingers, it makes my grip very strong but may be the cause of my hand coming open. I think if I just move my hands out some I should be fine
    I have a feeling the hook is causing it as well. It seems that the back of your hand can't be as tight when you hook and the knuckles are a little looser, leaving the hand more prone to opening when the back of the hand is bumped. You can probably work around it by moving your hands out, but too far and you risk losing some power and shortening your arms. Personally I have the inside finger on each hand right on the last bit of knurling before the smooth.

  12. #12
    GFH Lones Green's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Schwab View Post
    I have a feeling the hook is causing it as well. It seems that the back of your hand can't be as tight when you hook and the knuckles are a little looser, leaving the hand more prone to opening when the back of the hand is bumped. You can probably work around it by moving your hands out, but too far and you risk losing some power and shortening your arms. Personally I have the inside finger on each hand right on the last bit of knurling before the smooth.
    Thanks man. I played around with it with my speed work and instead of gripping right where you do, I gripped it about a half inch wider and seemed to make a lot of difference, no sliding on the legs. Not sure if it'll mess with my power like you said, the test will be with some heavier pulls
    23 years old
    6'3, 308 lbs

    825 Squat
    470 Bench
    645 Deadlift
    1905 total
    www.atlargenutrition.com

  13. #13
    illinois fattest lifter theBarzeen's Avatar
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    I had this same problem too..... I just had to move my hands out. what little I gained in reduced ROM didn't make up for my hand opening up..... I hit 606 last year at the APF state meet and my hand opened up at the top.... I ended up just digging my finger tips in to my thigh to hold it until the down call....... sucked pretty bad

    <a href="http://s806.photobucket.com/albums/yy343/barzeen/?action=view&current=606deadliftlockoutat2009illinoisstate.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i806.photobucket.com/albums/yy343/barzeen/606deadliftlockoutat2009illinoisstate.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>



    you can see it in my right hand
    Meet PR's: 1008-750-750 - 2464

    Gym PR's... don't count ... time to do another meet!

  14. #14
    GFH Lones Green's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by theBarzeen View Post
    I had this same problem too..... I just had to move my hands out. what little I gained in reduced ROM didn't make up for my hand opening up..... I hit 606 last year at the APF state meet and my hand opened up at the top.... I ended up just digging my finger tips in to my thigh to hold it until the down call....... sucked pretty bad

    <a href="http://s806.photobucket.com/albums/yy343/barzeen/?action=view&current=606deadliftlockoutat2009illinoisstate.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i806.photobucket.com/albums/yy343/barzeen/606deadliftlockoutat2009illinoisstate.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>



    you can see it in my right hand
    Yeah, thats exactly what my pulls were looking like
    23 years old
    6'3, 308 lbs

    825 Squat
    470 Bench
    645 Deadlift
    1905 total
    www.atlargenutrition.com

  15. #15
    Senior Member IronDiggy's Avatar
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    switch hands and see if it's any better?
    Best unequipped meet lifts - 120kg Open class
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    Dl: 585lbs
    Training since Dec 2008.

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