In case you’re new to the blog, or it wasn’t obvious by now, I love Mobility WOD. The last time it was referenced in this space (just a week ago, told you I love it) was certainly more controversial, but that’s not to say the subject matter here has never stirred up any debate. The video (part 1 below) speaks for itself.
Check out part 2 here. Bottom line, wrap your thumbs around the pull-up bar. I was a long time thumbless pull-upper. Probably because, as the MWOD post outlines, it was more comfortable. From there it simply became habitual. Until now I hadn’t heard a sound argument for switching to a grip that includes my thumbs, but the context of position, torque, and stability makes sense, so I’ve been experimenting.
Qualitatively, the pull-up “hook grip” feels stronger. Pull-ups feel more powerful, and tight, like slack has been taken out of the system. I don’t have a lot of quantitative evidence for you yet, and there’s no guarantee it will prevent you from ripping up your hands, but I agree with Carl and Kelly that the best solution to tearing is a stronger grip, which this will help develop. I encourage you all to try using your thumbs next time you’re hanging from the pull-up bar (toes-to-bar too). Like any other change in technique, it may take some time to fully adopt. Monday’s a great time to get started though, since we’ve got a workout that includes low rep pull-ups.