The Most Important Type of Strength: Grip Strength
by Amanda Jane Snyder
Lots of potential clients are coming to me these days with one goal in mind: to get stronger. Building strength and muscle is the foundation for health. There's so many benefits including a faster metabolism, lower body fat percentage, decreased risk of osteoporosis, reduced risk of injury, and just a higher quality of life.
But there's one metric of strength that is proving to be the greatest predictor of overall health. And that's grip strength.
Wait what? Grip strength?
When it comes to strength, most of those same potential clients aren't coming to me saying, "hey I'd love to improve my grip strength". Usually they're too focused on their arms or back, or even getting stronger in their legs with deadlifts and squats. No one's too focused on having bulging, sexy, muscular hands and forearms!
But believe it or not, your grip strength has a lot more to do with getting strong than you think. If you're struggling to lift heavier or get stronger in certain lifts, chances are the limiting factor may be your grip strength.
Take the pull up for example. If you can't hang, you can't pull up. And what is required to hang on the bar? Your grip strength! Similarly, in a deadlift you must be able to grip the bar in order to pull it up. If you can't hold onto that bar as you deadlift... you're simply not deadlifting.
More importantly than increasing your lifts... a 2015 study has shown a correlation between grip strength and a longer lifespan. And what about the ability to open a jar without any help? That takes grip strength! Another study has shown grip strength as a predictor of cardiovascular health. They may seem unrelated but think about it, people with greater grip strength most likely take their exercise regimen seriously. If they take their exercise regimen seriously, we can assume they are at a lower risk of cardiovascular disease than those who don't. Who knows if there are other factors related to grip strength and cardiovascular disease but the study has shown consistency across age and gender groups.
Train your grip strength by adding Deadlifts, Dead Hangs, Farmers Carries, and TRX Pulls or Sled Pulls into your routine.
Amanda Jane Snyder is a Certified Nutrition Coach, Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Corrective Exercise Specialist, Certified Personal Trainer, and Mindset Coach living in Brooklyn, NY. She has been vegan since 2016. She specializes in Strength and Conditioning for Actors, Singers, and Dancers.
Comments / 0