Coach Laura explains about the different Deadlift grips:

Athletes often ask if they should use a mixed grip on the deadlift, especially when going for a max attempt. So I thought I’d talk about different grips, the pro’s the con’s and my personal take on things
— Coach Laura

So first things first, what is the difference between the traditional grip and the mixed grip?

Traditional Grip

Traditional Grip

In the traditional grip, or double overhand grip, you grip the bar with both hands facing down. In the mixed grip you grip the bar with one hand facing up and one hand facing down.

The traditional grip really puts the forearms to work and improves grip strength, which is a good thing for us CrossFit athletes as we rely on a strong grip in many of the moves we do including pull ups and rope climbs

…. so why would we change it?

Mixed Grip

Mixed Grip

The mixed grip counteracts the bar spin and doesn’t tax the forearms as much, so where grip strength is the limiting factor, some people will use this grip so that they will make a max attempt without their grip failing before they’ve locked the lift out. In grip heavy workouts that have deadlift in them an athlete might choose to do the mixed grip to save their grip during the workout, in a competition setting this might give them the small edge they need. The mixed grip may be sounding like a good choice, but it has it’s downside…

If you rely on the mixed grip you wont be giving yourself the opportunity to develop your grip strength, but more importantly the mixed grip causes asymmetry in the body, when pulling this way you’ll have a tendency to twist slightly, which can cause imbalances and make it more likely that you get an injury. Not so good! So what are my thoughts?

I would always recommend working your weakness and ironing out the holes in your game wherever you can

So if grip is a limiting factor in your deadlift, then I’d recommend sticking with the traditional grip, even in max attempts. I’d take the same approach for heavy workouts, take the opportunity to improve your grip. I’m not saying never to use a mixed grip, by all means try it out and get familiar with it, but I wouldn’t recommend incorporating it into your training as standard. If you’re looking to save your grip in a workout, the hook grip in my opinion is a better option. It takes a bit of getting used to but it will save your grip without causing you to twist.