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Tag: grip strength

Grip Strength is Important Because It’s Associated With Overall Health

Research has demonstrated that grip strength can actually predict not only overall health but also all-cause mortality. The definition of all-cause mortality is the death rate from all causes of death for a population in a given time period.

Grip strength is extremely important in the world of working out. It’s needed for every type of exercise, from Olympic lifts to a pull-ups. Adequate grip strength is also needed to get things done around the house. The impact it has on health coupled with valued importance in the gym, makes you wonder why more don’t work on improving it?

Hopefully after reading some of the research presented here, your mindset changes. Most people are not aware of the real value of grip strength, and its importance on overall health. Remember, the old saying, if your grip goes…you go!

Research on Grip Strength

Grip strength is a powerful indicator of upper body strength. Hand strength typically peaks around 30-40 years of age according to one study. There are also gender differences between men and women when measuring grip strength. Hand strength begins to decline in men and women around 50-55 years of age. Low grip strength is associated with a greater likelihood of premature mortality, according to researchers like Bohannon.

Gray and colleagues, in a 2018 study, found hand strength was “strongly associated with a wide range of adverse health outcomes.” Their research concluded lower grip strength was associated with a plethora of health issues. Including, a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and various types of cancer.

A meta-analysis of 42 research papers, and three million participants, found a linear relationship between grip strength and all-cause mortality. In a second study study, handgrip strength was shown to have predictive validity for decline. Specifically, a decline associated with cognition, mobility, and functional ability in older individuals.

Using data from the KNHANES 2015–2016 study, Chong and colleagues looked the association between absolute and relative grip strengths and cardiometabolic outcomes in a Korean adult population stratified by sex and age. Their study suggests that grip strength may be a reliable index to screen for cardiometabolic disease. Thus, grip strength is a biomarker of healthy aging for people of all ages. Finally, it may also be an effective screening tool for various diseases.

How Do You Test and Improve Grip Strength?

One of the best ways to test for grip and arm strength is with a hand dynamometer. The following products are just a few of the many ways to strengthen your grip. One other such example is this unique grip product from Sorinex, that I recently tried and posted video on Jefit Instagram.

Exercises to Improve Grip Strength

As mentioned previously, any exercise that require holding a barbell or dumbbell will develop hand and arm strength to some extent. There are certain exercises, however, that are better than others when looking to become stronger in this area. The first exercise that comes to mind is loaded carry. This is where you walk with either dumbbells, kettlebells, Hex bar or plates in each hand for time or a specific distance. A suitcase carry is where you load only one side of the body like carrying a suitcase. Here are just a few of the many great exercises you can try:

Get Strong with Jefit

Join the more than nine million members who have had great success using the Jefit app. The award-winning app comes equipped with a customizable workout planner, training log, the ability to track data and share workouts with friends. Take advantage of Jefit’s huge exercise database for your strength workouts. Visit our members-only Facebook group. Connect with like-minded people, share tips, and advice to help get closer to reaching your fitness goals. Stay strong with Jefit.

The Secret to Better Training? Improve Grip Strength

improve grip strength

One of the most overlooked areas of strength in training is grip strength. However, your grip strength can really make a huge difference in your workout and everyday life. It may seem like a small thing but it is these little details that can really enhance your training.

Why Should You Improve Grip Strength?

Grip strength is said to be a good indicator of overall body strength, muscular endurance as well as heart health. The stronger your grip strength, the lower your risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Not only that but working on improving this area can also prevent further injuries to your wrist and elbow. This is especially important to those who play sports that involve a lot of hand movements such as climbing, tennis (tennis elbow) or golf (golfers elbow).

Does your grip tend to give out first?

Weak grip strength can also become a limiting factor in training, especially strength training. If you have a weak grip, then you may find that your grip fails during an exercise even if you are capable of doing more. For example, while you have the arm strength to do another pull-up, your grip strength may prevent you from doing this, or if you can do another deadlift, your hands may fatigue before your legs/back first.

Three Grip Types and Exercises to Improve Grip Strength

There are three grip types: crush grip, pinch grip and support grip. To improve grip strength and have a well-rounded grip, it is important to practice exercises that involve all three.

Crush Grip

This is what people usually think of when they hear the word “grip”. It involves the area between your palm and fingers – think of a handshake.

Exercises to improve crush grip strength:

Use hand strengthening devices – There is an array of hand strengthening devices on the market that you can use that are relatively cheap as well.

You can use hand grippers or even a stress ball. Squeeze and hold for a few seconds before releasing. This is an easy and simple exercise that you can do while at your desk or even watching TV.

Pinch Grip

This grip refers to the hold between your fingers and thumb. It typically does not involve the palm.

Exercises to improve pinch grip strength:

Plate Pinch – Rest two weighted plates together on the floor between your finger and thumb. Pick it up while you stand up, with your elbows slightly bent. Hold the plates for as long as you can before putting it gently back on the ground.

Plate Orbit – Hold two weighted plates together in the pinch grip. Pass the plate to your other hand in front of your body and then vice versa, this time behind your body in a clockwise direction, then change directions. You can gradually increase the weight or number of plates as your grip strength improves.

Sandbag Deadlifts – Use a commercial sandbag or make your own by filling a duffle bag with sand. Then try to pick it up like you are doing a deadlift. The key here is to not use the handles; pinch the material instead.

Support Grip

The support grip is the form your hand takes when you are holding something like a grocery bag.

Exercises to improve support grip strength:

Farmer’s Carry – This involves picking up and holding on weights with both hands (one on each side) and walking from point A to point B. This may sound easy but if you lift heavy weights, you will definitely feel it. You can use different equipment such as dumbbells or kettlebells.

Dead Hang – Hold onto a pull-up bar and hang until your grip fails. Make sure that your arms are straight.

Varied pull-ups – Doing pull-ups can really help improve grip strength, especially as you are using your entire body for this exercise, naturally adding weight. Try changing your grips so you can exercise different parts of your hand. You can also try thumbless pull-ups, add a weighted belt or hold a dumbbell between your legs.

Our wrists and forearms become weaker when the object we are holding has a larger width, so you should try to use a thicker bar for these exercises. If there is only a thin bar available, then try wrapping your towel around it.

Don’t Wear Gloves

Another thing that you should know is that if you want to improve grip strength, you should not wear gloves. Yes, you will get callouses on your hands and your skin will go hard but it is the best way to enhance strength in your hands and toughen your skin.

Grip strength is such an integral component in training even though gym goers tend to overlook it. But now that you know how important it is and how to improve grip strength, you may be able to see changes in your training for the better!

Jefit is a gym workout app that helps all gym goers and athletes keep on track with their fitness goals. It has the largest exercise library complete with free workout routines to help mix up your training. It also gives you the ability to update and share your workout log with the supportive community. With Jefit on your phone, you will be able to share your grip training progress with your fellow gym goers!

Have you used these exercises to improve grip strength? How has increasing your grip strength enhanced your training? Leave us a comment below, we would love to know!

improve grip strength