When it comes to areas of improvement for strength, grip strength isn’t commonly talked about. Any activity involving our hands has us using grip strength. Here are some areas that grip strength helps us with.
Avoiding sports injuries: With sports such as tennis, good grip strength helps decrease the chance of developing tennis elbow. It helps avoid repetitive motion injuries in other sports as well.
Avoiding repetitive motion injuries outside of sports: Weak grip strength can leave people who work on computers for much of the day vulnerable to such injuries.
Helping us with many common activities: Turning a doorknob, lifting heavy binders or books, carrying anything, driving, all of these are common everyday activities where weak grip strength can add difficulty.
Grip strength can be a sign of overall vitality: In recent years, studies have been showing that grip strength can be an indicator of overall health. Some show that grip strength is a predictor of overall muscle strength and endurance. Others have shown that stronger grip correlates with a lower risk of heart attack and stroke.
Grip strength, a measure of body function, has been suggested as a biomarker of aging.1 Biomarkers are medical signs at the level of pathology, body function or structure, or activity/participation that provide an objective indication of medical status.2 Use of grip strength as a biomarker of current health status is most directly supported by research showing a cross-sectional association between grip strength and the strength of other muscle actions of both healthy individuals and adults with pathology.3
Consequently, the routine use of grip strength can be recommended as a stand-alone measurement or as a component of a small battery of measurements for identifying older adults at risk of poor health status.
Sayer AA, Kirkwood TBL. Grip strength and mortality: a biomarker of ageing? Lancet. 386 (9990):226–227. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736 (14)62349-7
Strimbu K, Tavel JA. What are biomarkers. Curr Opin HIV AIDS. 5 (6):463–466. doi: 10.1097/COH.0b013e32833ed177
Takahashi J, Nishiyama T, Matsushima Y. Does grip strength on the unaffected side of patients with hemiparetic stroke reflect strength of other ipsilateral muscles? J Phys Ther Sci. 2017; 29 (1):64–66. doi: 10.1589/jpts.29.64