3 Grip Strength Training Exercises for Health & Longevity
Written by: Jon Mitchell, PA-C
There has been a lot of recent buzz about the importance of grip strength.
Sure, you don’t want to lose your ability to open jars or supplement bottles as you get older...
But what's so amazing about it?
Well, it turns out: Research indicates that grip strength could be a fairly strong predictor of all-cause mortality — or your risk of dying from any cause as you age.
So what is this strange link between your grip and your longevity?
And what can you do to improve it?
We'll cover this — and more — below 👇
The Benefits of Grip Strength: Health, Longevity, and More
This phenomenon is becoming well-known... and even championed by Dr. Peter Attia, who encourages his patients to work on their grip to improve their longevity.
It's not that grip strength itself causes a longer life... but a study showed it's associated with increased longevity.
This might say something about a person's overall fitness...
In other words, people who had better grip strength tended to be stronger overall.
The stronger someone was, the more likely they were to avoid different types of diseases... such as heart attacks or respiratory infections.
This makes sense given that some research has found that we lose about 2-4% of our strength per year as we age.
And since physical health tends to decline before mental health...
It's really important to prioritize your physical health if you not only want to survive, but thrive in your later years.
So, given all that, what are the best ways to train your grip strength?
How to Do Grip Strength Training (3 Tips)
1. "Hang out" More Often
Hanging, also known as brachiation, is one of the best ways to improve both your grip strength and shoulder health.
A good goal is to be able to do a dead hang (by simply holding onto a pull-up bar) for 2 minutes.
While it may sound like a short amount of time, this is no easy task...
In fact, depending on their level...
It's normal for some people not to be able to hang at all at first — without some help.
So, here's are 2 ways to build up to dead hangs:
Use a resistance band to support your body weight as you hang.
Hold onto a pole and simply lean back with your arm stretched out (Maybe the pole dancers are onto something after all?)
As you build up your grip and arm strength... you should be able to use assisted dead hangs... and then eventually graduate to unassisted hanging.
2. Lift Heavy Things
Deadlifts, kettlebell swings, and farmers carries are all great ways to build & maintain muscle mass and improve your grip strength.
When doing this type of weight training...
It's always best to work with a personal trainer to help make sure you are using proper form and the appropriate amount of weight.
3. Use a Grip Strength Trainer
These handheld devices are great for convenient, on-the-go training.
And while it may seem like they only help with your grip...
They actually help strengthen your arms, too.
I'll prove it:
- First, slightly squeeze your hand into a fist.
Notice how you’re only using your hand, and maybe some forearm muscles?
- Now try and squeeze your hand into a fist as hard as you can.
See how you are now tensing your ENTIRE arm?
That’s the power of strengthening your grip when done correctly.
So, there you have it.
Practice these several times per week and your future self will thank you.
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