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Artesial
 
Thumb placement when squatting

Since I have finished reading Starting Strength 6 months ago I've gripped the bar when squatting using the thumb-less grip. The other day I tried using the traditional grip and my squat felt more comfortable, like I could go lower without as much tightness in my hips.

How many of you use thumb-less grip when squatting and for what reasons?

I'm thinking about sticking to the traditional grip just because some days my hip flexors will be really tight and this seems to help them.
Old 11-10-2010, 12:26 PM Artesial is offline  
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mainbrotha
 
Moving your thumb will not make you squat deeper or with less pain in your body. Your body must be picking up on some mental cue when you wrap your thumb around the bar.

Generally speaking, it doesn't matter where you place your thumb. What matters more is hand placement on the bar. So long as you have correct form throughout the entire lift (which includes positioning of the elbows), it really is immaterial whether or not you use thumbless grip.

I should ask, however, what kind of squat you're doing, athletic (shoulder width-ish stance, low bar position), powerlifting (really wide stance, low bar), or olympic (closer than shoulder width apart, high bar). That can be a factor.
Old 11-10-2010, 03:31 PM mainbrotha is offline  
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Coqui
 
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I use my thumbs.

If you can't go deeper, your hamstrings need more work.
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Old 11-10-2010, 04:06 PM Coqui is offline  
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Artesial
 
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Originally Posted by mainbrotha View Post
Moving your thumb will not make you squat deeper or with less pain in your body. Your body must be picking up on some mental cue when you wrap your thumb around the bar.

Generally speaking, it doesn't matter where you place your thumb. What matters more is hand placement on the bar. So long as you have correct form throughout the entire lift (which includes positioning of the elbows), it really is immaterial whether or not you use thumbless grip.

I should ask, however, what kind of squat you're doing, athletic (shoulder width-ish stance, low bar position), powerlifting (really wide stance, low bar), or olympic (closer than shoulder width apart, high bar). That can be a factor.

I'm doing athletic squat. My hip flexors feel some irritation if I go as wide as power lifter.
Old 11-11-2010, 08:29 AM Artesial is offline  
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mainbrotha
 
Naturally. I do more of an athletic low bar, too. Use your thumbs. I don't see what the actual advantage is on thumbless. I prefer thumbless for other lifts, but they're all pressing types.
Old 11-11-2010, 08:54 AM mainbrotha is offline  
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Gibonius
 
I'm pretty sure that I use my thumbs, but I can't even tell you for sure. Really don't think it makes much of a difference, do whatever seems more comfortable. I know I did thumbless when I was doing powerlifting style though, reminded me to push the bar into my back instead of trying to hold it.

What sort of irritation to you get if you go wider? Doing powerlifter style squats will really strengthen your hips if they're weak. I did a six week box squatting program and my GOD it worked my hips over. If you feel pain, you might need to address that elsewhere.
Old 11-11-2010, 09:11 AM Gibonius is offline  
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Artesial
 
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Originally Posted by Gibonius View Post
I'm pretty sure that I use my thumbs, but I can't even tell you for sure. Really don't think it makes much of a difference, do whatever seems more comfortable. I know I did thumbless when I was doing powerlifting style though, reminded me to push the bar into my back instead of trying to hold it.

What sort of irritation to you get if you go wider? Doing powerlifter style squats will really strengthen your hips if they're weak. I did a six week box squatting program and my GOD it worked my hips over. If you feel pain, you might need to address that elsewhere.

Just tightness similar to that when stretching on the sides of my hips sort of where the femur connects to the hip. I've always had it when doing squats and in 3 years I haven't been able to find a way to make it totally go away, just less. Any recommendations?
Old 11-11-2010, 10:47 AM Artesial is offline  
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mainbrotha
 
Sounds just like flexibility issues. It's something you have to work on every day two to three times a day until you're comfortable with it.
Old 11-11-2010, 02:29 PM mainbrotha is offline  
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I don't use thumbs
I usually have my thumb where my other fingers are

i go front
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Old 11-11-2010, 06:47 PM tegandje is offline  
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Gooch
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I never thought about where my thumb goes... my grip is wide and I just focus on going deep and keeping my elbows back.
Old 11-17-2010, 09:55 PM Gooch is offline  
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Uncle Fester
 
I've done it both ways, but in the past couple of years have had to go strictly to a thumb-less grip, due to shoulder pains with a thumbed grip.

Listen to Rippetoe, he knows his shit.

"Strong people are harder to kill than weak people, and more useful in general." - Mark Rippetoe




Oh, and stretch your hips if they are bothering you, sounds like flexibility issues.
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Old 11-18-2010, 06:51 PM Uncle Fester is offline  
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Old 11-19-2010, 12:29 AM Foolioq is offline  
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