Grip Strength: More than Just a Measure of Physical Fitness

April 8, 2022

Grip strength can explain overall strength, but also predict overall health. Yes, how firm your handshake is can even explain upper limb function, bone mineral density, malnutrition and cognitive impairment.

Grip strength can also provide cues to heart health status. Experts say it is a good tool to help identify older adults at risk for poor health.

You can understand why improving grip strength is just as important as strengthening big muscle groups like biceps and glutes. And why it’s an area of physical fitness we include in our on-site workplace wellness programs.

During the month of April, our Health Coaches have been assessing grip strength as part of an interactive wellness challenge with our clients in Sudbury. This is done by using a dynamometer, a device that can measure isometric grip force. After obtaining the participant’s results, we provide them with exercises focused on improving grip strength with the intention of taking measurements again at the end of the month to make note of any improvement.

Did you know?

Grip strength involves everything from the muscle near the elbow all the way down to your fingertips. The human body uses 35 muscles and 4 major joints during movement of the forearm and hand, with many of these involved in gripping activities.

When it comes down to the things we hold in our hands, there are four main defined forms of gripping, which require different techniques and muscles. 

 1.      Crushing: The act of closing fingers against resistance.

2.      Pinching: The act of grasping something with the thumbs in opposition to the fingers.

3.      Supporting: The act of lifting something with fingers taking the majority of the load.

4.      Extension: The act of opening the fingers and thumb.

To maintain or improve your grip strength, it’s important to practice these techniques through exercise, using a variety of props, many of which can be found in your home. For example, squeezing a ball in your hand or wringing a wet towel. Try the below exercise.

Towel wring

Type of grip: crush

Tools needed: towel &water

 How it’s done:

1.      Run a towel under water until it’s wet.

2.      Hold each end of the towel so that it’s horizontal in front of you.

3.      Grip the ends and move each hand in opposite directions so that you start to wring water from the towel.

4.      Wring the towel until you can’t get any more water from it.

5.      Soak the towel again and move your hands in the other direction so that you work both types of crush grip.

6.      Repeat steps 1 to 5 at least 3 times.

Looking to engage your employees and support their overall health? Inquire about our workplace wellness programs. Email coach@mediwell.ca

Back To Inspirations

Get Inspired!

Nutrition Tips to Manage your Blood Glucose Levels
May 9, 2022

Nutrition Tips to Manage your Blood Glucose Levels

Read more
Grip Strength: More than Just a Measure of Physical Fitness
April 8, 2022

Grip Strength: More than Just a Measure of Physical Fitness

Read more
Take Care of Your Shoulders!
March 4, 2022

Take Care of Your Shoulders!

Read more