How much you bench? How much you deadlift?
How many times have you heard (or been asked) that question, to which you’ve wanted to smack the person asking it.
For some reason, the bench press and deadlift has become synonymous with muscle, strength, and (indirectly) health and wellness.
But, there’s a far more meaningful metric by which you can assess your performance, recovery, and health -- grip strength.
Read on to see why grip strength matters to your health.
Why Grip Strength Matters for Daily Life
While you may not think that grip strength matters much for daily life, when you stop and think for a minute, just about everything you do in your typical day-to-day comings and goings involves grip strength -- loading groceries, picking up your kids, shaking hands, cleaning up around the house, grabbing your latest shipment of supplements off the porch, etc.
In fact, research has also found that grip strength is an independent predictor of bone mass, which is important for overall health as well as your ability to live an enjoyable, pain-free life.
Incorporating exercises that strengthen your grip into your current training program can also help improve motor skills, functional movement, endurance & stamina as well as help you to age better as you’ll be stronger and more resilient.
Why Grip Strength Matters in the Gym
Having a stronger grip directly enhances your performance in the gym as you’ll be able to hold heavier weights for longer periods of time, enabling you to train harder for longer with heavier weights -- helping you to build more muscle and burn more calories!
Conversely, having a weak grip limits your ability to lift as much as your muscles are truly capable of during a workout, which can hamper your progression and undermine your results.
Plus, increasing grip strength may also help reduce the chance of injury and support the recovery and growth process.
How to Increase Grip Strength
When it comes to increasing grip strength, many of you might think of the old school grip strengtheners that have been popular for decades.
But, the reality is that you don’t need any fancy gizmos or gadgets to build grip strength. If you have even a halfway decent gym, you have everything you need to build all the grip strength you’ll need for the gym and everyday life!
Here are some of our favorite exercises to build grip strength:
- Deadlifts of all kinds
- Farmer’s Walks (and other loaded carries)
- Plate pinches
- Dumbbell Rows
- Towel hangs
- Towel pull ups
In addition to these exercises, you can also use Fat Gripz on just about any barbell or dumbbell pulling/curling exercise to train your grip as well as your forearm muscles.
While you might not expect it, grip strength is a critical measure not only of performance and recovery, but overall health and wellness as well.
If you have limited forearm and/or grip strength, you’ll likely have difficulty performing everyday activities, such as carrying groceries, picking up your kids, or even walking the dog. Your performance will also be limited in the gym as your risk of injury also increases as well as you’ll be more likely to drop the bar.
The easiest way to increase grip strength is to focus on getting stronger on all of your main lifts, especially pulling exercises like deadlifts, pull ups, and rows. Not only will having a stronger grip improve your performance in the gym, it’ll also enhance functional (“real world”) fitness and daily living.
And, if you’re looking for that extra boost to help you take your training to the next level, make sure to check out our top-tier line of pre workout supplements, including 1UP Pre Men and 1UP Pre Women, which have been specifically formulated to help increase energy, focus, and performance to help you get the results you want NOW!
- Chan DC, Lee WT, Lo DH, Leung JC, Kwok AW, Leung PC. Relationship between grip strength and bone mineral density in healthy Hong Kong adolescents. Osteoporos Int. 2008 Oct;19(10):1485-95. doi: 10.1007/s00198-008-0595-1. Epub 2008 Mar 29. PMID: 18373053.