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Author: Richard Symister

GET A GRIP AND LIVE LONGER 6 Very Cool Things About Your Grip

Watch our GRIP TESTING video HERE.

Having a nice, strong grip goes a long way as far as daily function and “life work”. But your grip is not just about finger strength. Here are 6 cool facts about your grip strength to wrap your head (and fingers) around for evolved training and fewer injuries.

  1. Grip strength is associated with accelerated biological age. Specifically, the weaker your grip strength, the older your biological age, per results published in the Journal of Cachexia, Sarcopenia, and Muscle (1). In other words, poor grip strength can age your body faster. FYI: Weak grip strength has been shown to be a better predictor of adverse health events like cardiovascular disease, stroke, and myocardial infarction than systolic blood pressure (2).
  1. An asymmetrical grip is a sports injury risk factor. Yup, the truth is out there. The greater difference in grip strength (> 10%) between your right and left hand, the greater your chances of sustaining a musculoskeletal injury. An uneven grip means uneven loads placed throughout your body during pull-ups, deadlifting, and any other lift or carry movement. So even up your grip and avoid shoulder and back injuries.
  1. There are age-appropriate strength ranges for both men and women that you should fall within to consider your strength “normal”. In other words, you should be strong enough for your age. Hey, nothing’s wrong with a little competition for inspiration.
  1. Your grip is a circuit breaker. If there’s something wrong above — rotator cuff strain, a labral tear waiting to happen, a shoulder joint overload —- your grip will receive a signal from your brain to release whatever it is you’re holding. In other words, your grip, the circuit breaker, gets “tripped” before something bad happens to your arm.  Problems as far up as your neck can manifest as a weak grip!
  1. You can train your grip by carrying and hanging. Sure you can go the hand gripper or ball squeeze route. But at MovEvolution, we want to train the entire body, in natural patterns for faster adaptation and growth. Consider carrying dumbbells, kettlebells, or Olympic plates, and hanging from an overhead bar with one or two hands,  as superior strengthening options.
  2. Your grip strength can help determine your state of readiness for training and exercise. Combined with heart rate, levels of perceived stresss and recovery, grip strength will give you the thumbs up to to go all out or thumbs down to taper your intensity.

Grip strength testing is part of our general protocol with most of our upper extremity clients at MovEvolution. We test in 3 positions, arm in front, arm above, and arm by the side, giving us a composite score and a better idea of where you might have a strength glitch in your body matrix.

Watch our GRIP TESTING video HERE.

For the average Joe (or Josephine) we’re looking for no less than a 10% difference between the right and left hand, and for that grip to fall within “normal” age-appropriate, strength ranges (see appendix above). For the athlete, we want no more than a 5% difference, and scoring “above normal”, age-appropriate strength.

Heal. Move. GRIP. Evolve.