A firm handshake might just be a handshake, but a firm grip could be your ticket to the fountain of youth.
Studies have shown an intriguing connection between grip strength and longevity, suggesting that a strong grip isn’t just about impressive handshakes or opening stubborn pickle jars. It’s a reflection of your overall body strength and muscle mass, serving as a reliable marker of your physical well-being.
Why does grip strength matter?
Grip strength is not just a fleeting measure of vitality, it’s one of the most potent indicators of a longer, healthier life.
As physician Peter Attia aptly put it, “If your grip is weak, everything upstream of that is weak.”
Let’s take a moment to appreciate the incredible functionality of grip strength. Think about your daily routine— carrying groceries, picking heavy boxes off the floor, lugging suitcases to the airport, opening stuck doors—all of these activities rely heavily on the strength of your grip.
A robust grip has a ripple effect on your entire body. Grip strength exercises engage hand, arm, and shoulder muscles, and is often used to detect sarcopenia, or age-related muscle loss.
How can you harness the power of grip strength?
Some of the best exercises to improve your grip strength are deadlifts, farmer carries, dead-hangs, and pull-ups (or assisted pull-ups).
Or… grab a kettlebell! Don’t have one? Just use a regular weight. Today’s 3-minute grip + core routine can significantly enhance your grip strength. The dynamic nature of kettlebell exercises requires a firm grasp throughout, activating the muscles in your hands, forearms, arms, and shoulders. As you maneuver the kettlebell through various movements, your grip is continuously challenged, leading to increased muscle activation and endurance in these areas. Over time, this targeted training effectively bolsters your grip strength.
Don’t underestimate the power of your grip!