3 Reasons Why Your Grip Strength--a Sign of Longevity--Is Diminishing, According to a Physical TherapistYou might not think about it that often but grip strength--the ability to hold and hold on to the object for a prolonged duration of time is crucial in your ability to complete daily tasks. You'll need it in the gym or when lifting weights however, you'll also require grip strength for everyday tasks like transporting groceries, or even in your vehicle.
Insufficient grip strength can make it harder to, effectively, grip things, but it also triggers an unintended cascade effect that blocks other muscle groups from becoming stronger, too. "The body utilizes the feedback from the grip and hand to provide information to joints on the amount of stability and exercise is required," says physical therapist and MOTIVNY co-founder Luke Greenberg, Physical Therapist, DPT. "If hands aren't strong it is difficult to train chest, shoulders and back using the proper load."
In addition to the gym a decrease in grip strength can be an indication the overall state of your health isn't in the best situation. In actual fact an study from 2018 that was published in The BMJ discovered that there's "clear evidence that suggests that poor grip strength is associated with a number of less favorable results in health." Researchers also found that grip strength was a predictor of longevity since it was linked with cardiovascular disease (or the absence of it).
It's likely that this has to be due to the fact that those who have strong grips are more active than those who have weaker grips However, it's not the only factor to consider in this case.
Here, Greenberg shares 3 key reasons why your grip could be slipping, even if you're physically active.
"Grip excessive use or tendinopathy [the destruction of collagen] at the elbow can reduce the strength of grip," Greenberg says. "The body's body gets scared of the increased load on the injured tissue and this will hinder grip from engaging in a more intense manner."
2. Shoulder problems
"If shoulders are unstable, weak against the force they bear or are fatigued they will find it difficult to apply all force through the grip" Greenberg says. Greenberg.
3. Neck problems
"Neck issues, like nerve root impingement, compression or disc bulges could cause weakness in the downstream," says Greenberg. "It's likely that you'll see this across an arm, causing weakness but it may be more intensely in the form of reduced grasp strength."
Anyone who is concerned about one of these should consult an acupuncturist for treatment specifically tailored to their situation Greenberg advises. Greenberg.
Test your grip strength
If you're not certain whether you've got strong grasp strength Greenberg gives you a chance to test your grip strength at home. See whether you're able to carry a weight that is one-third of your bodyweight for 60 seconds. It can be an exercise ball, or kettlebell, as well as other objects with handles which you can fill with weight, such as bags for duffel bags or suitcases.
"For instance, if you weigh 210 pounds, you can carry 70 pounds for an hour without losing posture, grip or swaying from side to side," he says. If you can accomplish this feat, your grip strength is probably sufficient.
How can you strengthen your grip?
It is also possible to use the same weight you are using to measure your grip strength to increase it, suggests Greenberg. "Shoot at least three times for one minute each the other side" Greenberg says. "These are a good routine to do regularly if there's no pain or discomfort in the shoulders or elbows is causing.
Tools for strengthening grips are effective also. "If you're planning to use something that is more isolated, such as a gripper you might want to work on at least three sets of between 20 and 25 repetitions," Greenberg suggests. Greenberg. "Start with a daily schedule so long as no pain does not be apparent, then increase frequency up to 3 times per day to get the best outcomes."
In the end, the most important thing is to utilize the strength before it is lost so anything you do to build to strengthen your grip is a win, whether it's the nine hand exercises listed above or doing as many household chores as feasible. As Greenberg states: "The more you use your grip strength, the more your body will strengthen it."