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Thread: Has Thumbless grip been discussed here?

  1. #1
    if (! lifting) eat(); intargc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005

    Has Thumbless grip been discussed here?

    I've searched for debates on this topic but I can't find one really... I was looking for pro's / con's for this.

    When I was doing skull crushers I had a gym trainer come up to me and say "Try using a thumbless grip." I told him "No. That's not really safe" and he just looked at me weird and said "Ok" and walked off.

    Now, my girlfriend and my sister are both personal trainers as well. Both of them were also very much into gymnastics when they were younger. If you ask them, they always used the thumbless grip when doing gymnastics for a basic reason: It allowed ease of release. Meaning, when they were working the parallel bars and such and they had to have a quick release, their thumb wasn't in the way. The thumbless grip leads to less of a grip and ease of release. On the other side, wrapping your thumb around the bar increases the grip. If someone in gymnastics were to use their thumb while gripping a bar, their grip would increase but that defeats the purpose when doing the activities they do. They need a loose grip on parellel bars so they can release it quickly and also spin and swing around the bars properly. The thumb would get in the way of that (and possibly jam or break in the process).

    Now, bringing that to weight lifting. Why on earth would you want a quick release of the barbell?! Don't you want a tight grip? I understand using a thumbless grip helps take some stress off of the wrist, but why should you sacrafice your safety? Simply focus on keeping your wrists straight! That's what I've always done, anyway, and I've never experienced any added stress on my wrists as long as I keep them straight.

    Was this already debated? I couldn't find it... If not, what do other people think of this?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Sensei's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Losing my grip isn't usually an issue for me w. skull-crushers - wrist comfort is sometimes. I don't worry about using a thumbless grip w. the exercise.
    A child does not learn to squat from the top down. In other words, he does not suddenly make a conscious decision one day to squat. Actually, he is squatting one day and make the conscious decision to stand. Squatting precedes standing in the developmental sequence. This is the way a child's brain learns to use the body as the child develops movement patterns. Therefore, a child is probably crawling, rocks back into a squatting position with the back completely relaxed and the hips completely flexed, and stands when he has enough hip strength. This approach makes a lot of sense and can be applied to relearning the deep squat movement if it is lost. -Gray Cook
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Mt. Pleasant, MI.
    I use a thumbless grip for Close Grip B.P. but thats about it. I'm thinking about trying it for regular too but not sure if it would be safe with my hands wider. As far as the CGBP is concerned I feel like it gives me a better push.
    Calgary Stampeder!
    Formerly a CMU Chippewa!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    personally, i don't really see the difference when using thumbless vs thumb. its still working out the same muscle either way.. guess its just a comfort issue. i grip with my dumbs. i remember reading on WBB somewhere that gripping with your thumbs helps exert extra strength.

    eg. bench pressing that last rep. the grip i have around the bar tightens as i push for that last rep.

  5. #5
    SFW! drew's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Some people use a thumbless grip on bench press, because it lessens stress on the wrist. INterestingly enough, this is often referred to as "suicide grip".

    I only use a thumbless grip when the weight is under me (Rows, DLs) and my grip is strong enough where I don't need to use my thumb (pretty much anything under 225).

    Stats: Age: 34 Weight: 205 Height: 5'6"
    Gym PRs: Squat:635 Bench:560 Deadlift:495
    Meet PRs: Squat:575 Bench:525 Deadlift:510 Total: 1605@220


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