I spent the festive season with a friend of mine that’s a Chiropractor. He shared some deep wisdom about mind, body and our neurology. Craig is based in The Gold Coast Australia and is focused on holistic health and healing modalities. One gem that he shared with me was the importance of having a strong grip. Here are some of the benefits of improving your grip strength:
1. Increased core strength: As a test of one’s overall strength and endurance, grip strength can be used as an easy test when complex testing is not available. When we do maximal grip strength training, we recruit fibres throughout the body, not just in our arms. (ref)
2. Increases in other training ability: Stronger grip means longer hangs and holds. When lifting, the weakest link in the chain is where you fail and you’re only as strong as your weakest link. The most common areas for this is, lower back, feet and grip. When we don’t have grip strength, we compensate in other areas leaving us susceptible to injuring other areas in our bodies.
3. Grip strength and longevity: This study suggests that the measurement of grip strength is a simple, inexpensive risk-stratifying method for all-cause death/mortality, cardiovascular death, and cardiovascular disease. Research has shown that the weaker your grip, the greater the risk of having a heart attack or stroke. There is also research suggesting that weak grip strength can be a determining factor in lung-related disorders, especially in the older population.
4. Improvements in our neurology: Studies have not only shown that improvements in grip strength improve overall health but also to have a positive influence on our brains and cognition. Furthermore, it showed that maximal handgrip was strongly correlated with both visual memory and reaction time in over one thousand people with psychotic disorders such as schizophrenia
The process of improving grip strength can be done in a number of ways, but the easiest is using a tool called grippers. Captains of Crush have a range of grippers in 11 resistances from 60lb (for novice or for rehab) up to 365lb (no 4) where only two people in the world have managed to close this level. I’m currently able to close 100lb (the website says “strong guys start here” – great marketing) and working on trying to close level 1 (140lb). I’ll keep you posted on my progress.
The great thing about these grippers is they’re a great way to strength train while on the road when I don’t have access to weights. They’re also good to leave lying around and pickup when you’ve got a few minutes throughout the day.
Music I’m enjoying:
Old but Gold this Electro group took some of their most popular dance tracks and made an acoustic (plus opera) album. It’s amazing. “Above and Beyond Acoustic II”
A quote I’m contemplating:
If you bring up the emotion of gratitude before an actual event, your body will start to believe that that future event has already happened, or is happening in the present moment. – Dr Joe Dispenza.