Benching With A Thumbless Grip

Create: 12/01/2005 - 14:12
A member over at mentions that he uses a thumbless grip while benching. What follows are many warnings to ditch that technique.

Thumbless grip has two disadvantages. One, you can't squeeze hard enough. Two, it's way too easy for it to fall forward and crush ya.

I say look at the best. Mendy says it's called a "suicide grip" for a reason

Be careful. If you plan on competing, some feds like the IPF have rules against a thumbless grip. It would suck to get use to that grip and find out you have to switch at the last moment. Better check with your federation first.

Though a few use and firmly believe in the grip:

Don't discount the thumbless grip. It puts your elbows in a better position and lets the bar ride more over the top of your wrist so you don't get the wrist problems from your hands bending back with a heavy bar. I've benched this way for years and have never lost the bar. You can still grip it tight with your fingers.

I feel like with the thumbless grip the weight is being more evenly distributed, as it feels flatter. It helps keep my elbows in.


Submitted by psumner on
I used it for maybe a month (20-25 years ago). It seemed to give me a little more power and I like it. That is until I did a strong set of 5 and the bar popped off my hands on completion of the 5th rep. I thought I was dead during the split second it took to hit my chest. Once they pulled the bar off and I realized I was still alive I finished my workout with a normal grip. No broken ribs but one hell of a lot of soreness. Finishing the workout probably didn't help but I was pretty insane at the time. Needless to say I think the thumbless grip should be out of the question.

Submitted by admin on
It's kind of a risk/reward equation. To me, I come down on the side that the risks outweigh any rewards. Although, I am in favor of letting lifters bench this way in meets. Most federations that allow it do require signing a waiver, which also makes sense.