Workout: 5 rounds for time of:
21 Deadlifts (185, 135)
Accessory: Accumulate 30 Strict Toes-to-Bar
Get A Grip — The Mixed vs. Double-Overhand Grip
“Which grip should I use?” is a question we get asked a lot on Deadlift days. To answer this question, we need to first understand why it’s important to train both the mixed- and double-overhand grips.
With this setup, one hand is placed overhand (pronated) while the other is underhand (supinated). This setup keeps the barbell from rolling out of the lifters hands and is often used at maximal weights, such as going for a PR. Additionally, lifters may or may not choose to hook-grip in this setup.
The Pros for the Mixed-Grip
First, there comes a point where our grip cannot support the weight on the bar. Utilizing this grip style will ensure that you can keep moving the bar with less fatigue on the forearms, resulting in more reps and/or a heavier weight lifted. Second, this grip is beneficial during most CrossFit workouts where high reps and fatigue are common. Less attention can be focused on the grip and more thought can be put into the technique of the exercise.
The Cons for the Mixed-Grip
First, there are many resources that state that mixed-grip deadlifts do not increase grip strength. This may be true, however, we don’t always perform deadlifts for improving grip strength. Our grip gets taxed in many other ways – i.e. power cleans, pull-ups, rowing, snatches, etc. So this con may only partially apply to what we do in CrossFit.
Second, the mixed-grip does not transfer over to the Olympic lifts. These lifts are done double overhand. This could mean the weight on the bar during the clean may feel much heavier than you think it is, resulting in missed attempts. And lastly, those of us who suffer from chronic back pain or injury to our backside may want to avoid this grip. The hand setup will place your hips, back, and even the biceps in an asymmetrical alignment. Sticking to the double overhand-grip is recommended to help protect the back in these cases.
This grip is common in everything we do in the gym – and probably even outside the gym. Both hands are set up pronated over the bar; lifters may or may not hook-grip in this setup.
The Pros for the Double Overhand
First, grip strength will be the limiting factor while using this grip, which is great because failed reps resulting from grip fatigue rather than mechanical breakdown tends to be a much safer way to lift. Second, the more you test this grip, the better off your grip strength becomes. Grip strength will only benefit from this setup, especially when the reps schemes are manageable. Finally, with this setup, your hips, back, and biceps are in a good place, symmetrically speaking. This should offer you some protection if you’re suffering from back discomfort.
The Cons for the Double Overhand
Our hands can only hold so much before the bar slips out. Furthermore, this grip offers no security to hanging onto sub-maximal loads. Unlike the mixed grip, your transition to other movements in a workout, such as rowing, pull-ups, toes-to-bar, etc. will be more difficult due to extra fatigue placed on the forearms.
So as you can see, there are benefits to using both type of grips. In CrossFit, we are constantly varying our training stimulus. To answer the question of what grip should be used is simple……USE BOTH! The next time deadlifts come up in the programing, we encourage you to warm up with a double-overhand grip and maintain it well into the workout. Once the weights get heavier and your grip starts to fatigue, switch to a mix-grip. Doing this will guarantee your grip was tested -AND- keeps you symmetrically loaded for as long as possible. So get a grip… and go!