What is grip strength for an average person? Ponder the picture of Sly Stone on the ‘Cliffhanger’ promo poster or someone walking across a 5 acre back lot with Thickened Grip 100 pound dumb-bells in hand(s)? Now ponder being able to grab something to steady yourself from falling, hold onto something that is just shy of ‘being too big to grab or pulling on / holding onto something in order to lift yourself up? “Adequate” Grip strength is a major indicator of “The ability to stay active and independent”. Grip strength, in both genders, begins to decline after 40 years of age unless it is maintained. Think gripping golf clubs, brushing your teeth, holding a steering wheel, opening cans, and picking up a grandchild (but dream of Herculean feats of Monster Grip Strength if you must)
People in society today is not challenged nearly as much as in times past, as far as grip strength. Modern activities lean more toward office work and less toward ‘manual’ labor. Leisure activities are oriented. Big bulging muscles are prioritized over basic functional strengths. Gripping is a functional activity. Putting in time to develop grip can dovetail into positively affecting other activities. Grip strength does not have to be massive for it to be functional, yet functional grip strength is a requisite for developing massive grip strength.
What is necessary is to be able to handle the day to day challenges that come along with grabbing things, picking them up, and maneuvering them. Grip is strengthened by engaging it. Closing the hand, opening the hand. Grabbing ‘heavy’ things and holding onto them. Using tools that challenge ‘torquing’ ability. These are typical chores that one might encounter throughout the day or might have encountered. Although daily tasks do not mandate the ability hold on to catch oneself (from falling), or grabbing onto a solidly anchored something to pick oneself up from the floor, firmly swinging a bat, tennis racquet, or golf club . . . . these activities, over time, will prove to be rather difficult without (developing) a solid grip. Part and parcel of developing a solid grip is to do these activities (coupled with some specific grip training exercises).
Grip strength is a biomarker of overall strength. There is evidence that shows grip strength is largely consistent as an explanator of concurrent overall strength, upper limb function, falls, malnutrition, bone mineral density, fractures, cognitive impairment, sleep problems, depression, diabetes, multimorbidity, and quality of life. There is also evidence for a predictive link between grip strength and all-cause and disease-specific mortality, fractures, cognition, and depression, falls, malnutrition, and problems associated with hospitalization. Using grip strength as a stand-alone measurement, or as a component of a small battery of measurements, for identifying older adults at risk of poor health status would be a valid assessment modality.
Basic grip training consists of grabbing, picking up, pinching, squeezing. Any items that will accommodate any of these actions will do for training, Thus, resistance can be varied based on the ability of the person approaching the task. Tennis balls, holding onto a barely grip-able metal bar and rotating your hand back and forth are some of the more approachable means for training grip. More challenging methods include Hand-held Gyroscopes, spring-loaded Grip Trainers (lots of variety here), pinch gripping steel plates or cinder blocks and the weighted windlass. Of course, one is only limited by their imagination. Whatever causes one to grip something (especially in a challenging manner) can be used to train grip.
Train your grip. One does not have to accomplish herculean feats en route to attaining a solid grip. Everyday activities must include some sort of grabbing. One can use a tennis ball at work , if necessary. Studies show that grip strength can be used as an indicator of inadequacy in mobility / functionality later in life. Just grab stuff . . . . . .
Contact the trainers at Ab-Sutra Wellness and Fitness for assistance in improving grip strength.