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  1. #1
    crazy_rocks's Avatar
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    thumbless grip necessary?

    this personal trainer at work is always mentioning doing thumbless grip for bench and pretty much everything else. he said its bad for the bone of the thumb that joins with the hand or something. he says people get messed up over the years.

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    I actually didnt even notice that over the years i always used a thumbless grip, or the thumb next to the pointer on the same side of the bar.
    I think its actually thought that you can push a little more because the bar doesnt kill you palm if you have alot of weight.
    I tried once to use a "normal" grip and it felt like the bar cut into my plam. I know it sounds silly.

    In my opinion you should get used to the thumbless one. You can also use this for dumbels but its a little bit more dangerous, you should go with classic when using dumbels.
    Last edited by JimmySidewalk; 05-30-2011 at 11:22 AM.

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    zaggahamma's Avatar
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    interesting...i'm always feeling sore in the thumb area after a lot of workouts and feel the need to massage that area

  4. #4
    Windex is offline Staff ~ HRT Optimization Specialist
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    Everybody is made differently, some people do require thumbless grip to prevent joint problems. Personally, I need my thumbs because I have crooked pinky fingers and already have a 4-finger grip, so going thumbless would mean 3 fingers - not too safe imo.

  5. #5
    terraj's Avatar
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    From my readings- Our muscle groups work better as a chain when in use on compound lifts, so on the bench the thumb in grip engages the more forearm muscle fibers, which in turn engage more upper arm muscle.

    Thumbless grip also reduces your control of the bar, it lets the bar roll back in their hands which over stretches the wrists.

    And its a dangerous practice.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9DPmPxIZhc

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9GjliFmYc8
    Last edited by terraj; 05-31-2011 at 10:21 PM.

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    i use thumbless. easier for me yes. if bar slips. no lol

    personal preference i think

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    i like to grip the bar as tightly as possible so i use my thumb to grip....i fell as though by squezzing the bar more tightly it helps generate more power but i have no actual science to back this up, just personal prefrence...

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    Actually gripping the bar very thight will only ensure the exhauster of your forearm. But, maybe its a mindset for you.
    Each with his own.

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    baseline_9's Avatar
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    The reason people use a thumbless grip is just habit....

    Technically a powelifter uses a thumbless grip because it reduce the distance between the weight and the elbow joint.... Obviously the shorter this distance the smaller the ROM which is a huge advantage to a PL

    This is simply a way of changing the mechanics of a lift in your favour if you wish to lift more weight...



    Thumb in for me.... I feel I get a better pec contacting and it is just safer....
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghettoboyd View Post
    i like to grip the bar as tightly as possible so i use my thumb to grip....i fell as though by squezzing the bar more tightly it helps generate more power but i have no actual science to back this up, just personal prefrence...
    I agree...

    Feeling solid is very important IMO when benching....

    I use chalk and on my heavy sets I will use wrist supports....

    When you are locked to the bar tightly you do not have any doubt in the back of your mind with regards to your grip failing...


    Nothing worse than you hands slowly moving apart when benching... It completely puts you off your set. For me chalk is a must when heavy benching
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmySidewalk View Post
    Actually gripping the bar very thight will only ensure the exhauster of your forearm. But, maybe its a mindset for you.
    Each with his own.
    I think ou might need some grip work mate. The idea behind thumb in grip is so you can recruit more muscle fibers, squeezing the bar is a technique used by powerlifters.

    "In benching much of the tendon strength has to do with having strong forearms and very powerful fingers. In benching the harder you squeeze the bar then the more lockout power you will have."

    http://www.criticalbench.com/grip-strength.htm

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    But we arent powerlifters, we're bodybuilders, at least that is the sport of my choice, maybe others here are plifters.
    Squeezin the bar for god knows how many sets and reps will get you a forearm pump that would interfere with the lifting.

    Afterall, every person is different. In my opinion its also a mental thing, the way you get used and all that. What goes for you maybe doesnt go for me and vice-versa. That doesnt mean that either one is wrong.

  13. #13
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    Thats cool man, but IMO...big weights mean big muscles...just staying

  14. #14
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    A thumbless or "false grip" for back (and tris) is a must for me. Really helps me isolate more back muscles, and keeps that mind/muscle connection strong.

    Can't say I use that grip for many "pushing" movements though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by D7M View Post
    A thumbless or "false grip" for back (and tris) is a must for me. Really helps me isolate more back muscles, and keeps that mind/muscle connection strong.

    Can't say I use that grip for many "pushing" movements though.
    Agreed....

    I think that also has to do With the way a fals grip allows your wrist to turn out slightly.... This in turn helps to keep the elbows in closer to the body and IMO will help you to contract the lats optimally....

    When I row I like to think about pulling the weight using my little finger as a hook... This will also help if you struggle with hitting lats (which a lot of people do)
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  16. #16
    zaggahamma's Avatar
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    i guess the thumbless for back is being done with straps

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    No.. not with straps. I use thumbless on back also. I actually feel i have a better grip like that. Basically your hand forms a hook and you pull with all your finger. Why not use the force of the thumb to pull down on the bar rather that holding on for dear life like in normal grip. And BTW unless you use very big weights dont use straps because you need to form your forearm. I never work out forearms separatley and they are pretty well developed, alot of people told me that. Maybe its genetics also, but i never used straps since i begun bodybuilding.

    As stated, everyone is different so habits vary. Afterall, the important thing is to make that muscle grow

  18. #18
    zaggahamma's Avatar
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    i am definately going to try for both moves since i actually feel the thumb tendon after workouts

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by terraj View Post
    From my readings- Our muscle groups work better as a chain when in use on compound lifts, so on the bench the thumb in grip engages the more forearm muscle fibers, which in turn engage more upper arm muscle.

    Thumbless grip also reduces your control of the bar, it lets the bar roll back in their hands which over stretches the wrists.

    And its a dangerous practice.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9DPmPxIZhc

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9GjliFmYc8
    Because of videos like that, I use a full grip.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by terraj View Post
    From my readings- Our muscle groups work better as a chain when in use on compound lifts, so on the bench the thumb in grip engages the more forearm muscle fibers, which in turn engage more upper arm muscle.

    Thumbless grip also reduces your control of the bar, it lets the bar roll back in their hands which over stretches the wrists.

    And its a dangerous practice.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l9DPmPxIZhc

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9GjliFmYc8

    that was always my concern when i saw thumbless grip. a rollback of the wrists.

  21. #21
    Floydian is offline Banned
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    never thumbless grip
    it's stupid grip for bench
    it's so dangerous if weight be heavy
    you always sqeeze as hard as possible
    if you do thumbless for bench you don't know benchpress

  22. #22
    Floydian is offline Banned
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    thumbless maybe isolating pecs but too dangerous
    squeezing the bar means you need tricpes doing more power
    so over all strength

  23. #23
    zaggahamma's Avatar
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    i lift things up and put things down

  24. #24
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    I only seen one guy drop the weight on his chest.He was using the fale grip.450lbs I gave him a lift off.3/4 the way up he lost it.And it wasnt the last time he did it.Not for me.

  25. #25
    lifter65 is offline Associate Member
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    more bodybuilders use thumbless cuz they dont use as much weight and focus on feeling the muscles work, powerlifters use the thumb cuz it engages more muscle thus lifting more weight and its much safer, ive never seen a heavy bencher use a thumbless grip

  26. #26
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    I only use thumbless grip on machines, free weights are way to dangerous not to have full control of.

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    Well if you check the yates blood and guts(the old black and white one) you'll see he also uses thumbless on benching. And i mean.. if he doesnt know sh*t, then who does ? And he also used big weights. If you put your other 4 fingers tight around the bar there is no way it could slip even with big weights. I never had a problem using this gripp. In the new blood and guts trainer video when they were doing decline one of the pupils kept opening up the palm while pushing and he told him to keep the other finger on the bar cause if not it could slip.


    Nonetheless, like i said, it depends on how you got used physically and mentally.

    Later edit: coleman also uses thumbless.
    Last edited by JimmySidewalk; 06-12-2011 at 04:05 AM.

  28. #28
    Dont wanna be old's Avatar
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    I change back and forth from barbell to dumbbell . Maybe that is reason arms get so pumped from dumbells ?
    I always thought it was dumbbells never lie !

  29. #29
    lifter65 is offline Associate Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmySidewalk View Post
    Well if you check the yates blood and guts(the old black and white one) you'll see he also uses thumbless on benching. And i mean.. if he doesnt know sh*t, then who does ? And he also used big weights. If you put your other 4 fingers tight around the bar there is no way it could slip even with big weights. I never had a problem using this gripp. In the new blood and guts trainer video when they were doing decline one of the pupils kept opening up the palm while pushing and he told him to keep the other finger on the bar cause if not it could slip.


    Nonetheless, like i said, it depends on how you got used physically and mentally.

    Later edit: coleman also uses thumbless.
    ive seen the bar slip out of peoples hands while using the thumbless grip and also yes they are bodybuilders, what you may think is heavy instead to them is isn't, they may be using 315 or 405 but it still may only be making them get their pump with that weight instead of going for their max such as in powerlifting

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    It may not be heavy for them but when falling on your chest or neck believe me its heavy for anyone. So i dont see your point.

  31. #31
    lifter65 is offline Associate Member
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    my point is that using a thumbless grip isnt safe and doesnt allow you to use as much weight

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    Tell that to dorian and coleman

    BTW i(and others) can actually lift more weight with thumbless because it doesnt cut pressing into my hand. And why not use thumb force to lift also rather than not using it ? Just think when you are working forearms with a barbell, i bet you use thumbless there, huh ?

    But there is no point in arguing. Neither is wrong it just depends on each person how its more comfortable to them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmySidewalk View Post
    Tell that to dorian and coleman

    BTW i(and others) can actually lift more weight with thumbless because it doesnt cut pressing into my hand. And why not use thumb force to lift also rather than not using it ? Just think when you are working forearms with a barbell, i bet you use thumbless there, huh ?

    But there is no point in arguing. Neither is wrong it just depends on each person how its more comfortable to them.
    lol agreed man lets not e-fight

  34. #34
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    suicide grip is great until the day you drop 315lb on your throat...

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    Jimmysidewalk

    I don't care what you say, the thumbless grip on the bench is not as safe as the thumb in grip...

    End of story
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    Quote Originally Posted by baseline_9 View Post
    Agreed....

    I think that also has to do With the way a fals grip allows your wrist to turn out slightly.... This in turn helps to keep the elbows in closer to the body and IMO will help you to contract the lats optimally....

    When I row I like to think about pulling the weight using my little finger as a hook... This will also help if you struggle with hitting lats (which a lot of people do)
    I was told a while back to use a J Hook grip (thumbless) on pulling motions, and to imagine pulling from your elbow, not with your hands. This helped big time on pullups, lat pulldowns, and rows...

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by _CrossroadS_ View Post
    I was told a while back to use a J Hook grip (thumbless) on pulling motions, and to imagine pulling from your elbow, not with your hands. This helped big time on pullups, lat pulldowns, and rows...
    Yup exactly!! The thumbless grip imo is personal preferance.. I def prefer a thumbless grip myself but to each his own.. Pulling from the elbows is an awesome que to get the target muscle to do the work

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    I lift much more wt with a thumbless grip!!Thumb over grip takes more energy out of the body to grip and hold that position instead of focusing purly on target muscle. I dont see how that would be any more dangerous tho. If a bar is going to slip from my hand I highly doubt that my thumbs are going to protect me from 200 and somthing lbs

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    Quote Originally Posted by _CrossroadS_ View Post
    I was told a while back to use a J Hook grip (thumbless) on pulling motions, and to imagine pulling from your elbow, not with your hands. This helped big time on pullups, lat pulldowns, and rows...
    Yes agreed!

    And if you try the pull with you little finger method you will get a similar feeling
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    I go thumbless simply because its more comfortable. Off course you can't be effective in the deadlift with a thumbless grip. I'm a powerlifter. But most big benchers, and when I say big I mean 7 hundred plus, they all say never use a thumbless grip because you risk losing the weight. If you've ever seen someone lose the weight while benching, you'd switch to a thumb in bench...QUICK!! LOL! I've tried it but because both my thumbs are distended from multiple dislocations, its simply more comfortable for me to go thumbless.

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