Your hand grip changes everything in the deadlift. If grip is the limiting factor, you’re unlikely to ever push those strength numbers – an issue if getting strong is the goal.
There are three types of grips in strength training:
- Double overhand
- Mixed grip
- Hook grip
As a general rule of thumb, you should deadlift with a double overhand grip until it becomes a limiting factor.
Then, utilize the mixed grip (one overhand and one underhand) with one crucial caveat: Alternate the mixed grip with each set.
This is critical if you want to prevent imbalances or serious injury down the road.
The hook grip is used in Olympic weightlifting – snatches and cleans – and unnecessary for the purpose of this post.
So what’s the best grip for deadlifts?
The one that allows you to move the weight with ease and control.
For most people, it will be the overhand grip. In powerlifting, where moving the most weight possible is the goal, the mixed grip is the grip of choice. You can and should train both.
What about straps?
Lifting straps can be a huge help when you’re doing pulls or deadlifting in high volume. I have never used straps in my own training, preferring to build up my grip strength as much as possible before looking for an assist.
Whether or not you use lifting straps is up to you, but don’t use them so often that you can’t deadlift with it.