The most popular reason for guys and gals to use the suicide grip is for better placement of the bar when doing bench presses. Using this grip, the bar sits in a good position that allows you to push better. The barbell also lays in a more comfortable position on your palms.
The suicide grip is also said to more effectively isolate muscle groups for optimum training. When performing back exercises like pull ups, lateral pull downs, and the pendlay row, the suicide grip allows you to activate back muscles more than the biceps, which is the primary goal.
Although not recommended, hardcore weightlifters, bodybuilders, and powerlifters use the suicide grip as motivation. They stand by the “do or die” idea when doing this.
You better have the power to lift a heavy barbell, we’re talking about 315 pounds, back up after lowering it to complete a repetition. With the immense weight and without your thumbs to secure the bar in position, this is quite a challenge.
This is not recommended especially if you’re a beginner and has not yet gained enough control over your body. This risks you being in a terribly compromised position in case the bar slips.
According to Dave Tate, a bodybuilder, the use of a suicide grip can be advantageous in bench press competitions. During the competition, there is a line around the barbell close to both ends, and it is required for competitors to cover this line with their fingers.
Using the normal or closed grip, you cover the lines with your index fingers. The suicide grip allows you cover the lines with your thumbs and slide your hands wider. This wider grip shortens the distance you have to cover with the bar.
For many lifters, a wide grip also increases initial strength and helps emphasize the chest more.
- More Gentle On The Shoulders And Elbows
Another advantage of the thumbless grip is its gentleness on both the shoulders and elbows. It can be an excellent position as you transition your way back into regular bench pressing after injury in these body parts.
Also, a common problem among weightlifters is some serious shoulder pain after a session of heavy lifting. This is affected by the weight and number of reps, but a huge factor is a grip.
Gripping the bars of a barbell in a wrong or different way can cause users to experience more intense shoulder pain and their endurance to plateau. Adjusting or changing your grip can make a huge difference. Once you do, you’ll find you can perform more reps at a more frequent interval per week.
A regular grip forces you to turn your hand slightly in. This, in turn, puts you in an internal shoulder rotation position that points your elbows outward when you lower the bar. This applies stress on the shoulder joint.
If you try tucking your elbows in despite their natural tendency to flare outward, a great amount of torque is produced at the elbow joint. So, you increase the pressure and strain on either your shoulders or elbows, both of which is bad.
Using a suicide grip. However, you can maintain a neutral hand position more easily. This makes it natural to tuck your elbows in while you lower the bar. It reduced stress on your shoulders without adding torque on your elbows, so there’s less pain.
The suicide grip allows you to position the bar lower in your hand, or closer to your wrists. This puts the weight directly over your forearm bones and allows easier rotation of your elbows. Through this, the power transfer is improved.
An improved power transfer makes the weight easier to handle during bench presses. This also helps reduce pain on your triceps or shoulders.