The Forgotten Power of Grip
Sometimes a firm handshake is something that defines what your first impression of a person would be. What if, your handshake was more important than that? To your lifestyle and overall health?
Well, not exactly your handshake but the grip behind it. Your grip means your ability to hold onto objects safely and securely, as well as handle heavier objects.
Yes, that’s right. . Your grip strength is more important than you give it credit. It may sound simple, but it also plays an important role in our daily life and workouts.
How does maintaining grip strength (actually) help?
Of course, it does! Having a strong grip is an overall indication of good muscle strength.
Grip strength is often considered a measure of muscular strength or the maximum force generated by one’s forearm muscles. A firm grasp is crucial for healthy persons as well as athletes since it can help prevent injuries and boost performance
“When was the last time you carried heavy weights like vegetable or fruit bags?”
You heard it right, such minuscule activities like carrying vegetable bags are important. All daily activities are a very good indicator of a good hand grip. A stronger grip improves the quality of life whereas low grip strength can predict an increased risk of functional limitations and disability as we get older.
“There are many pieces of research that say people who have a strong grip have a lower risk of heart diseases and brain stroke.”
Nowadays, with our increasingly lethargic lifestyle where we are even getting groceries delivered to our doorsteps. Those small daily activities that go a long way in the future are reduced to almost nothing.
Our tendency to not use our small joints of fingers, wrists, and elbows has been increasing. Especially when our bodies were meant to use big joints for mobility and small joints for stability.
Weak hand grip is an indicator of many health problems.
We are constantly on the internet and are constantly coming across various ways to recognize signs and symptoms of good health.
The answer is easier than shown on the internet. An indication of muscle atrophy or shrinkage may be poor grip strength. The most common cause of this is the seldom use of the hands and fingers, but it can also be an indication of peripheral neuropathy, cervical compression, brachial plexus syndrome, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, and parkinson’s disease.
Taking care of your grip strength is important.
Weak hand grip could lead to injuries and muscle tears in sports and the gym. As you can only lift as heavy as you can hold the weight in your hands, a firmer grip allows lifting heavier.
Similarly, not using shoulder joints makes them stiff, and areas around them like the cervical spine. Our hands, wrist, forearm, and arm muscles get supply from the cervical spine. The healthier your grip strength less would be the stiffness around the back of the neck. Less would be the chances of headache.
As we are more on laptops and phones, our big joints like shoulders don’t work often. The work is done by small joints of the hands. This has led to increased cases of thumb and wrist joint pain, further weakening of hand muscles.
How to measure your grip strength?
Usually, it is best if you consult a physiotherapist to receive a thorough examination.
Professionally, a hand-held dynamometer is used to measure grip strength. In most cases, the patient squeezes the dynamometer three times with each hand while using all of their strength. After that, a score is determined by averaging the measurements from both hands.
According to a 2010 article in the “Journal of the American Geriatric Society”, a healthy minimum squeeze measurement for older persons was around 72.6 pounds for males of normal weight and 44 pounds for women.
There are 3 types of grips, gross, support, and pinch. The weakest grip which is seen very commonly these days is Pinch. Thanks to the trend of long nails of women as well.
Your grip strength will increase as your total strength does. If you’re over 40 and haven’t been active recently, EEZ Align can help you understand what type of strength training program will be best for you. Our physiotherapists will slowly build up your strength back up with strength-building exercises and help you start better activities in daily life as well.
So, next time when you grip someone’s hand or pinch their bottoms remembers the intensity of their “ouch” is directly proportional to your good health. You shall face their wrath but you may also rejoice in the fact that you are in good physical health.