The Grip Test: Can You Hold Your Own
Grip strength keeps popping up in fitness-related headlines. Why? Because it is so fundamental to daily function and it has been shown to be a clear indicator of cardiovascular health and mortality. Plus, it’s obviously cool—many classic strongman feats involved grip; an impressive grip is baked into our social norms as something extraordinary and impressive.
Grip Strength Points to Heart Health
- 16% greater risk of dying from any cause
- 17% greater risk of dying from heart disease
- 9% greater risk of stroke
- 7% increased risk of heart attack
How to Train Grip Strength
- The Crush Grip is the grip between your fingers and your palm—the one you use for shaking hands and crumpling beer cans.
- The Pinch Grip is the grip between your fingers and your thumb. This can be further subcategorized into individual fingers + thumb grip.
- The Support Grip is the ability to maintain a hold on something for a while—think pull ups or long and productive shopping trips.
- Park further from the entrance of the grocery store, and carry your bags to the car.
- When you’re on the phone or standing around – like in line or when pumping gas – find a way to work your grip. A simple way is to simply hold onto something and lean back (a fingertip grip on a doorjamb is great). Start slow, you don’t want to lose your grip and fall.
- For those especially deconditioned or elderly, it can be as simple as lifting the milk carton for several reps every time you take it out or put in back in the fridge.
- Get something squishy or pliable, or shop for something purpose-built at and keep it handy with you or on your desk. Use it throughout the day. Just type "grip strength tools" into the search field, and your browser will show you a wide world of options.