Many of us are looking to increase the strength in our body. We work our arms, legs, core, and back to build muscle, be healthy, and look and feel our best. However, one type of strength training that is often neglected is grip strengthening. It’s not a common exercise. After all, when was the last time you saw someone exercising their hands at the gym? But grip strength is really important to your everyday life and in the fitness world. Here’s why you should be strengthening your grip.
You use your grip strength every day. From carrying groceries, to taking out the trash, to holding a pen, you must have a strong grip to get through life easily. If you paint or play any musical instruments then your grip strength is vital to that as well. Your muscles naturally deteriorate as you age. So, if you have a weak grip now, it will only get worse unless you actively strengthen it. Otherwise, you may find yourself unable to turn the key in the lock of your front door.
Being able to lift heavy weights is essential to building muscle. And you must have a strong grip to hold weights for squats, bicep curls, deadlifts, and tricep kickbacks. It’s also important if you play any sports like tennis, golf, hockey, or lacrosse to have a strong grip. Do you enjoy doing functional fitness activities like Crossfit or obstacle course runs? You need a strong grip to climb ropes and scale walls. So, if your grip doesn’t improve, you’ll eventually be unable to do the physical activities you really enjoy.
If you struggle with arthritis, carpal tunnel syndrome, or other pain in your wrist, fingers, hands, or forearms, then strengthening your grip can help relieve pain. Using stress balls or other grippers can works as a type of physical therapy that strengthens your muscles while also relaxing your joints and tendons. Strengthening your whole hand also helps improve any imbalances in the strength of your hand muscles, which can lead to painful conditions like tendinitis.
Your grip is about more than just your hands. When you strengthen your grip, you also strengthen your forearms. There are two sets of muscles in your forearm which help you grip objects. These are the flexor muscles and the extensor muscles. You work flexor muscles when you ball your hand into a fist and your extensor muscles work when you flatten out your hand.
Having a strong grip is an indicator for overall strength and health. Think you’re strong? Test your grip strength to get a better picture of how strong you really are. As you age, weak grip strength is often an indicator of poor health and even mortality. Lower grip strength also means you are at a higher rate of developing type 2 diabetes, osteoarthritis, and depression.
Strengthening your grip might be a new concept to you, but it’s incredibly important for your overall health. Adding grip exercises to your weekly routine will help you get stronger and improve your performance in the gym and when you play sports. It will also help you navigate life more easily and relieve in pain in your hands. So, what are you waiting for? Get started today!