asking for resources on working towards thumbs-around grip for low-bar back squats.

canadianlbs Posts: 5,199 Member
can anyone point me to resources that would be useful for achieving this? i normally go thumbless and have thought i was comfortable with that, but by some fluke i recently did achieve a full grip on the bar for one set and was blown away by the difference. the trouble is, i could not replicate it and i'm having 3-d visualisation dyslexia in trying to figure out which parts of my shoulders/chest/back/upper body are probably holding me back. at this current time in order for my thumbs to get round the bar my wrists have to curl way under and that's not a direction i want to go in.

so i'd love it if anyone else who's also made a self-education project of this and found good resources out there could pass them along. i don't care if it's general and/or possibly not specific to whatever my specific thing is; i'm just frustrated by the stuff i've gotten back so far from my own google attempts. i do NOT want to be advised to: go high bar, set my hands way way wide like i think i'm mark bell, lay my thumbs on top of the bar [doh], or go see a physio. eventually i realise i have that last option, but i like working things out on my own first if it's possible and this is my latest Project.



  • DopeItUp
    DopeItUp Posts: 18,772 Member
    I'm not sure what answers you're expecting. With a narrow full grip you're gonna have your wrists bent to some degree. This can only be alleviated by going wider if that bothers you. Or just doing thumbless, as you have discovered. If you insist on going narrow, full-grip and you're worried about your wrists, try wrapping them.

    My extensive experience experimenting with all of this has told me that there's no free lunch.

    Wide grip == harder to get upper back tightness but less pressure on shoulders, wrists, elbows
    Narrow grip == easier to get upper back tightness but more strain on shoulders, wrists, elbows
    Thumbless == easier on wrists, harder on elbows
    Full grip == easier on elbows, harder on wrists

    You pretty much have to use trial and error find what works for you. I go fairly narrow with thumbless and that's the best compromise between comfort and tightness that I've found. I use elbow sleeves to help with the elbow strain to keep it tolerable. Hell, some people only have one finger around the bar and they've got their hands on the collars and they can squat 1000lbs. I've seen people squat 700lbs with no hands at all. You can make pretty much anything work within reason, you're just gonna have to work for it.
  • canadianlbs
    canadianlbs Posts: 5,199 Member
    I'm not sure I understand what you mean. You're doing a thumbless grip instead of a wrapped/full grip on the bar wile squatting and you wan't to be able to do the full grip to achieve a better form ?

    i can't do it because i can't close my hand around a low bar without my wrists needing to curl way way under in order to give my thumbs room to fit underneath. i can't get my arms back into squat position AND have my elbows low enough [relative to my shoudlers] to create the clearance i need. sorry i can't show a picture.
    Nothing comes to mind except for placing the bar differently but you didn't want that advice anyway.

    yeah, thanks :smile: high bar just does not work for me. i guess the simplest way to picture my issue is: with my current shoulder/whatever mobility level, i WOULD be able to use a full grip IF i were willing to let the bar end up there. because that's about where that space between my thumbs and my hands will end up if i want to keep my wrists straight. when i try to move the bar down to where it's just under my scapular spine, i can't seem to get my elbows any lower relative to my shoulders. so the only way to remove those couple of inches is to let my wrists curl under so the length of my hands isn't in the equation anymore. seriously not going to do that.

    i need to be able to pull my entire arm a little further down (or maybe just closer to my body?] so i have that couple extra inches of space. i just can't figure out what the specific tissue structures are that are limiting me, so that was the point of this thread.

    [it's probably pec minor. 'release your pec minor muscles ' is the answer to about 40% of the upper-body things i've run into so far. :tongue:]
    When you step under it you bend down, place it on your back and your hands come around the bar before you stand up and take a step back right?

    not exactly. i take the grip first. sort of pull myself under the bar and then up/into it. snuggle around a little to settle in, and i might move my hands a little wider at that point if necessary. and the way i have been doing it, comes a point somewhere in that sequence where i release my thumbs and move them on top of the bar so i can finish the setup without losing the wrists.
    Try placing your hands differently. Instead of placing your hands in a narrow grip close to your shoulders, try wider grip. You need more flexibility for the narrow grip and if you don't have it yet go wider.

    i hear what you're saying. was hoping to speed up the process a bit by finding the right body parts to do some work on. thanks.