Get A Grip!
The amazing benefits of improving your grip strength.
We all know that building strength + maintaining muscle is super important in mid-life, but how about grip strength!?
Grip strength is basically your ability to hold onto things! In order to do so, we recruit the muscles in our forearms, wrists + hands! We actually use more than 35 muscles just by closing our hand into a fist to grab something!
Unfortunately grip strength decreases with age, particularly from the age of 50 + more rapid loss in women 65 + above.
Grip strength is a good indicator of overall strength 💪 + studies have shown that people tend to live longer, reduce bone fractures, insulin resistance + cognitive decline. In one study a frail grip was also related to higher incidence of heart attack, stroke, cardiovascular disease + even death! We seriously need to get a grip!!
Of course there is a direct link to our muscular health. If you imagine exercises like squats, pull ups, deadlifts + rows, if your grip strength is insufficient you aren't going to be able to increase the weight!
I am a huge fan of improving grip strength as it is so important for activities of daily life, like picking something up, carrying shopping, or opening a jar, as well as many sports. By building strength in our grip we can help ensure these everyday movements stay strong as we get older.
There are many exercises we can do at home + in the gym to work on our grip strength. A lot of which are included in my weekly Fitness Bites + others which you can just include in your daily chores!
💪🏻Carrying the shopping – heavy groceries, particularly if they are of uneven weight are great to test your grip + your core strength. Make sure your posture remains upright, knees are soft + you brace your core.
💪🏻Wringing out a towel – who knew! The action of wringing out a towel really does challenge the strength in the wrists + forearm muscles,
💪🏻Farmers carry - dumb bells or kettle bells one in each hand + carry them for a designated distance. You can build up the weight/distance as you get stronger
💪🏻Kettlebell swings – these are quite technical but will really challenge the forearms, arms + core. Of course make sure your form is correct on this one.
💪🏻Deadlift – these are one of the most effective functional fitness exercises + I include a lot of 'hinge' action in my Fitness Bites. We recruit the muscles we need to pick something off the floor working the posterior chain. You can use weights + increase over time. Fantastic for glutes, hamstrings + of course grip!!
💪🏻Bicep curls– this is a classic forearm + bicep exercise + will also help with grip.
💪🏻Plate pinch -if you have access to plates at a gym then pick up the one you can + attempt to walk with it between your thumb + finger. If not, you can try a heavy book at home!
💪🏻Hanging - if you have a bar or even a branch of a tree + attempt to hang. Build up how many seconds you can manage!
There is a specific grip strength test you can try called a handgrip dynamometer or alternatively just monitor how your grip is feeling, the weights you are lifting + how long you can hang for!! If you follow a structured training plan you will really start to notice the difference. If you would like to chat about FITNESS BITES then please get in touch! Sarah x