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thumbless to thumbed grip on squat, wrists more achy

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  • thumbless to thumbed grip on squat, wrists more achy

    i used to do thumbless a la rippetoe for squats.

    i switched to thumbed, not sure why, and i noticed i can get a much lower bar position, ~1 inch more based on bar rashes on my back. pretty awesome.

    i have noticed tha tmy wrists are now achy and i dont think i ever had a problem with this.

    comes with the territory, or am i doing something wrong? my hand position is the same, still a thumb-length away from the inner knurling, right where the smooth part is. then i wrap my thumbs around.

    not sure what good options i have: back to thumbless with its higher bar position, wraps, maybe widening the grip and losing tightness?

  • #2
    I would wager a guess that the thumb wrapped around the bar getting you a lower bar position is due to flexibility..
    If your hand is wrapped around the bar, then I highly doubt your arm is in line with your body(slightly behind the back, but nearly parallel. I would bet that its in fact nearly vertical to the floor. There is no way you can tell if your arms are in the same position unless you have a spotter telling you (you aint looking to the side when your squatting, the plates alone would abscure your view in the mirror, nevermind the danger or fcking up your body position by looking sideways).
    Plus with your wrists being achy, that tells me that the bar weight is being transferred down your arms and not down the back/hip/mid foot. The arm is supporting the bar and not the back (I bet your wrists are extended)

    Anyway, my point is, with your arms vertical to the floor, it is allowing you to place the bar lower and over the spine of the scapula/shelf of the rear delts, due to shoulder flexibility issues.

    Your options are quite easy:

    Joe de francos shoulder flexibility exercises (I call it swimming superman, look it up on youtube)
    Broom stick handles ala Dante's thread here.
    Get your scalpula nice and warmed up (light face pulls with higher reps),
    Do this for a couple weeks, everyday, (and before squatting) and go thumbless, I think your shoulder flexibility will be greater, the bar will sit where it should with the thumbless grip (lower like your saying)

    If that confuses you..think of it this way: If your arms are vertical to the floor, you can drive the elbows down further and sit a barbell lower.
    If your elbows are being pushed backwards and up, then it will push your arms higher up. So it all comes down to flexibility of your shoulders and scalupla (mainly shoulders)
    Last edited by martin_h; 12-03-2013, 07:24 AM.

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    • #3
      Place the bar where it is comfortable for you. There is ideal squat form and ideal squat form for you.

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      • #4
        I agree Rob, but most people can't even grasp that and mess it up.

        Where the bar is placed and how you set up will determine your strength level in the squat and where the ceiling is.
        It also determines knee/elbow/lower back pain if set up is wrong but comfortable.

        I am not suggesting somebody like you doesn't know this, I mean this for the general lifter reading this. So some basics should apply.

        I always try to think along the lines of what Homon said, that he considers his response for anybody else reading this and what they will do with that information (IE the noob).

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        • #5
          i'll play around the next time i get under the bar and see how i feel.

          i think the primary reason thumbless is higher is that rippetoe's thumbless involves keeping the wrist in line with forearm rather than cocked back, whereas the thumbed is pretty much has to be cocked back. from there, the bar is supported by the heel of the palm, whereas in the straight thumbless grip, the bar presses against the fleshy part of the base of the thumb/heel. hope that makes sense.

          thanks for the tips! going to work on flexibility overall regardless.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by martin_h View Post
            I agree Rob, but most people can't even grasp that and mess it up.

            Where the bar is placed and how you set up will determine your strength level in the squat and where the ceiling is.
            It also determines knee/elbow/lower back pain if set up is wrong but comfortable.

            I am not suggesting somebody like you doesn't know this, I mean this for the general lifter reading this. So some basics should apply.

            I always try to think along the lines of what Homon said, that he considers his response for anybody else reading this and what they will do with that information (IE the noob).
            I agree, when you are new practice the ideal squat form, at some point though you have to play around with hand placement, foot placement, bar placement. I think we tend to overanalyze at the level some of us are at, now if you are talking top level lifters(which I am not) form becomes a bigger issue.

            http://articles.elitefts.com/trainin...-squat-manual/
            Last edited by RobbHensel; 12-03-2013, 08:06 AM.

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            • #7
              Most defiantly, we all have completely different structures (bone lengths/muscle in sertions/skeletal size/ligaments etc etc) What is perfect for you, might destroy me. Also a good point for the noob reading this!
              Absolutely, over analyzing is a shtty virus in the fitness world. But that's a whole other thread.

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              • #8
                my wife had the same issue. switching to hi-bar, thumbless worked better for her wrists and shoulders.

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                • #9
                  What helped my wrists and shoulders was placing pinky under the bar and wrapping rest of fingers and thumb around the bar

                  There is a picture in this link about halfway down page

                  http://www.ericcressey.com/newsletter144html
                  "You need never feel broken again"

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                  • #10
                    Great article 53.
                    So many articles on elite, its no wonder some golden ones like that can go overlooked.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by drcrappants View Post

                      not sure what good options i have: back to thumbless with its higher bar position, wraps, maybe widening the grip and losing tightness?
                      Why do you think thumb/thumbless grip determines bar position? I squat with a low-ish bar position and always squat thumbless.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Imprezivr6 View Post
                        Why do you think thumb/thumbless grip determines bar position? I squat with a low-ish bar position and always squat thumbless.
                        because i wasn't doing thumbless cocked back, but wrist forward

                        i think the primary reason thumbless is higher is that rippetoe's thumbless involves keeping the wrist in line with forearm rather than cocked back, whereas the thumbed is pretty much has to be cocked back. from there, the bar is supported by the heel of the palm, whereas in the straight thumbless grip, the bar presses against the fleshy part of the base of the thumb/heel. hope that makes sense.
                        what do you mean low-ish? like half high?

                        i just notice thumbed makes me cock my wrist back REALLY low. which helps on the squat but not on the wrists.

                        @hensel
                        LONG ass article but good value in reading, ty for link,.

                        for people doing good mornings, do you guys change the grip on GM? i've actually been relaxing the hands as i descend rather than tight grip right now.
                        Last edited by greensoup; 12-05-2013, 12:38 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by drcrappants View Post
                          because i wasn't doing thumbless cocked back, but wrist forward
                          .
                          So. Lower the bar position with a thumbless grip. If your wrist excessively cocks with thumbless than work on your shoulder mobility. You might have to adjust grip width slightly.


                          My bar position is pretty much right on top of my rear delts. When I first lowered my bar position I was having a bunch of wrist issues. Improving my shoulder mobility, took care of most of it.

                          As for good mornings. What's your thoughts behind relaxing your grip?

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                          • #14
                            i'll try thumbless cocked back a little and see. never considered it since it sounded unstable.

                            also going to try moving grip out 1/2 an inch or so at a time.

                            for good mornings, i wrote about it in a GM thread i made before but cant find it, but the bar would roll jjust a teeny bit, maybe even just merely push my skin back and forth, as i descend. very raw rashes ensued on my back where the bar was and it got to a point that i'd actively try to avoid the bar touching the rash by keeping the bar in different spots.

                            when i loosened my hands as i descent, it loosened my elbows too, and the bar wouldn't really move/pinch/push my back skin. however, not sure how that affects the exercise though in terms of untightening the wrong muscles for the lift.

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                            • #15
                              [youtube]g2tyOLvArw0[/youtube]

                              thumb over / under: minute 12 - 15~

                              just stumbled across this vid on squatting wrists. i used to do that thumb over wrist straight, but it looks evident that the bar will be higher than the counterpart that comes at ~13m with thumbs wrapped around. i did notice those extra wrist pains with thumbs under, but the lower position is a big advantage.

                              now with thumbs over, i just can't see how you can keep your chest up. even in the vid he looks drooped over.

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