Did you know that grip strengthening can tell a lot about your health? According to 2015 research, it was concluded that your muscular health could be assessed through your grip. Apart from this, your grip strength is also a measure to identify cardiovascular diseases and more.
Scared? Don’t be..!! The grip strengthener will help you overcome all your wrist weaknesses.
In this article, we’ll give you all the tips and tricks so you can work on your wrist and enhance your grip strength in no time.
What Muscles Makeup the Grip?
When you’re moving your fingers, holding heavyweights, or doing something as simple as opening up the water bottle cap, all these minor movements include numerous muscles.
When we talk about the grip, we don’t mean just the hand strength. Even though hand strength is part of the grip, it includes various other muscles as well.
The above picture shows what some of the major muscles involved in gripping action are. These muscles will be easy to picture for you if you try and make a fist and then squeeze it tightly. Do you feel a sensation in the forearm?
Yes, exactly, that pulling sensation that you’re feeling in your forearm proves that when you grip something, it’s not just the hand muscles that are involved, but most of them exist or have some connection in your forearm as well.
The muscles in the arms and the entire body are weaved through each other with multiple bones and veins. When you hold a dumbbell or lift a barbell, flexor digitorum superficialis, flexor digitorum profound, and the flexor policus longus are the muscles that create the grip along with other extrinsic muscles that stabilize your wrist.
These muscles majorly exist in the forearm and work together with other muscles and nerves to perform gripping.
How Do I Test for Grip Strength?
So now that you have a basic understanding of where the muscles are and how they move together to create every tiny movement, here are a few methods you can use to test your hand grip.
1. Hand Dynamometer
A hand dynamometer is a tool that helps measure your grip strength. The user holds the handle and exerts maximum force, and the dynamometer displays the force in kilograms or pounds.
It is said that your grip is a force and, therefore, can be measured in pounds or kilograms. A hand dynamometer is a tool available to physicians, and some gyms even have it, so they can assess the grip and understand the muscles that need the most effort.
2. Pinch Gauge
The user pinches the device in three different actions in a pinch gauge, giving the most accurate and thorough results.
Here, the user holds the pinch meter between the thumb and index finger like a key. The flat surface of the thumb exerts pressure on the lateral surface of the index finger for evaluating the grip strength.
Tip To Tip
In this test, the user will pinch the meter from the thumb and index fingertips, and the reading will be displayed in digital numbers.
Pulp To Pulp Pinch
For this test, the user exerts the force with the thumb’s flat side and the index finger’s flat side, allowing the gauge to read out the perfect strength.
3. Weighing Scale
Yes, we’re serious. Testing for your grip strength can be done easily using a weighing scale. Hold the weighing scale with the thumb and your palm heels and place your fingers below it, and then press on the scale with all your force.
The scale will display your grip force on the meter, and you can get a good idea about your strength if not accurate.
Benefits of Strong Grip
Do you know, grip strength has athletic as well as social and everyday benefits? Here are some of the benefits that will convince you to start working on your grip right away.
1. Lifting Heavier Weights
Have you been unable to increase the weights in your training sessions? The chances are that this was happening because of your poor grip. A good grip will help you to perform the pull exercises a whole lot more vigorously than ever before.
2. More Reps
If you have a good grip, you’ll be able to lift weights effortlessly. If you easily lift heavy weights, you will perform more reps of every exercise, resulting in greater calorie burning and more muscle-building.
3. Improved Quality of Life
According to the research, if you have good grip strength, your future will be much better than those with poor grip. This is because, with the growing age, the bones and muscles start to deteriorate.
If you have strong arms, you’ll have a surplus of good muscles that will improve your future by utilizing this excess strength and keeping you away from any disabilities.
4. Reduced Risk of Injuries
If you’re amongst the athletes who have a lot of wrist action in their lives or a powerlifter, you need to work on your grip.
Having a strong grip strength allows firm grip while playing or weight lifting, hence preventing injuries. If still, you end up with any injuries, you’ll have strong muscles, which will ensure quick recovery, so you spend less time away from lifting weights or playing your favorite sport.
Tips for Stronger Grips
If you’re wondering how you’ll be able to achieve a strong grip, try and incorporate as many of these tips as you can, and you’d do great.
1. Make Small Changes
If you want to change something, specifically in your gym routine, you must start with baby steps. Make small changes so your body can get used to them and give you greater results.
For example, you can start by adding more pulling exercises to your routine and getting your hands used to some rough workouts. A small change like using a towel and twisting it with full force can also help build up the wrist strength.
You can also buy a forearm strengthener to improve your grip. Use this strengthener frequently and practice the twisting, turning actions and build up your wrist strength for pull exercises.
2. Take it Easy
Once you start with small changes, it does not mean that you have to improvise on those steps quickly. It is important to understand and listen to your body so that you don’t regret any changes in your routines.
Aim for intensive grip workouts thrice every week and gradually build your strength for it. If you dive head over heels, you will not be able to see results and will end up straining your body. This is why it is suggested that using a forearm strengthener like the one offered by DMoose will assist you in working up your wrist muscles without intensifying the exercise too much.
Use a Forearm Strengthener
A forearm strengthener is a perfect tool to train your wrists. It’s inexpensive and easy to use. All you have to do is do a few reps of twisting and turning the strengthener and give your wrists a good warm-up before you start your pull exercises. This will help activate the muscles and reduce the risks of injuries as well.
4. Plate Curls
Plate curls are also one of the best exercises you can do for your wrists. Grab some weight plates, place your arm on a flat surface and start curling your palm upwards and towards your forearm.
Best Stretches for Grip Strength
It is possible that you follow the tips and tricks from everywhere and still end up with tight and weak grip strength. Don’t worry.! This is not happening to you because you’re doing something wrong.
Some people have stiffer wrists because their jobs do not involve many hand movements, or they have a muscle imbalance, etc. All these issues can be easily tackled if you practice the following stretches;
- Make a tight fist and place it on your thighs, with the palms facing upwards. Keeping the fist tight, start pulling it upwards without lifting your arm from the surface.
- Use a Grip Strengthener and twist it with some light weights for a few seconds.
- You can also use a squeeze ball and try to squeeze it firmly for fifteen seconds.
- Put your hand on a flat surface with your palms facing down. Lean your body to and fro and side to side without removing the palms from the surface.
Grip strength is one of the easiest things to get neglected. Not just by the trainees but by the trainers as well. If you feel your hands give up on weights easily or you’re stuck on a lifting weight, focus on your grip.
Your strong grip strength is what will make or break your journey. You can either improve your grip strength with the above tricks and stretches or stay at the same training point; it’s your decision.
Improving your grip may seem like a task at first, but all you have to do to get started is buy a forearm strengthener and start twisting and turning it now and then. It will boost your grip, give you the confidence to lift heavy weights, perform more reps and sets, and burn out all the fat.
- Leong, Darryl P., et al. ‘Prognostic Value of Grip Strength: Findings from the Prospective Urban Rural Epidemiology (PURE) Study’. The Lancet, vol. 386, no. 9990, July 2015, pp. 266–73. www.thelancet.com, https://doi.org/10.1016/S0140-6736(14)62000-6.
- Gale, Catharine R., et al. ‘Grip Strength, Body Composition, and Mortality’. International Journal of Epidemiology, vol. 36, no. 1, Feb. 2007, pp. 228–35. academic.oup.com, https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyl224.
- Trosclair, D., Bellar, D., Judge, L. W., Smith, J., Mazerat, N., & Brignac, A. (2011). Hand-Grip Strength as a Predictor of Muscular Strength and Endurance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 25, S99. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.jsc.0000395736.42557.bc
- Waldo, B. R. (1996). Grip Strength Testing. STRENGTH AND CONDITIONING JOURNAL, 18(5), 32. https://journals.lww.com/nsca-scj/Citation/1996/10000/Grip_Strength_Testing.5.aspx
- Mathiowetz, V., et al. ‘Grip and Pinch Strength: Normative Data for Adults.’ Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 1985.
- Rantanen, Taina, et al. ‘Midlife Hand Grip Strength as a Predictor of Old Age Disability’. JAMA, vol. 281, no. 6, Feb. 1999, pp. 558–60. Silverchair, https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.281.6.558.
- Frederiksen, Henrik, et al. ‘Hand Grip Strength: A Phenotype Suitable for Identifying Genetic Variants Affecting Mid- and Late-Life Physical Functioning’. Genetic Epidemiology, vol. 23, no. 2, 2002, pp. 110–22. Wiley Online Library, https://doi.org/10.1002/gepi.1127.
- Prasitsiriphon, Orawan, and Wiraporn Pothisiri. ‘Associations of Grip Strength and Change in Grip Strength With All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality in a European Older Population’. Clinical Medicine Insights: Cardiology, vol. 12, Jan. 2018, p. 1179546818771894. SAGE Journals, https://doi.org/10.1177/1179546818771894.
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