“Anytime you are gripping this PVC pipe for a snatch or a clean, you must always have the hook grip!”
Coach Mike Burgener is not flexible on this rule, and breaking it usually results in burpees. But why?
Simply, the hook grip ensures the bar doesn’t slip in your hands, even at maximal weight. Olympic weightlifting is a game of centimeters, and even a little slip can move the bar out of its optimal line of travel. Further, when the barbell slips, you’re losing power, and you’ll need ever bit of power to get a PR overhead.
After drilling the hook grip, Coach Burgener addresses the overhead position for the snatch and describes exactly what you need to do to support weight overhead.
Additional reading: Pulling Positions for the Snatch by Mike Burgener and Tony Budding, published March 1, 2007.