What Is Handgrip Strength?
Handgrip strength is defined as the force required to hold a weight with one’s hands. The term “hand” refers to both your index finger and thumb. If you want to compare it with other types of muscle groups, then you need to consider that the upper body consists mainly of skeletal muscles while the lower body consists mostly of connective tissues such as tendons, ligaments, and bone. Therefore, the force required to hold a weight with your hands will vary depending on which type of muscle group you use. For example, if you use your biceps to lift a barbell, then the amount of force required would be higher than if you used your tricep or forearm muscles.
How Does Handgrip Strength Measurement Work?
There are several methods for measuring handgrip strength. One method involves using a dynamometer (a device that measures the forces exerted by various parts of the human body). Another method is to perform wrist flexion tests. A third method uses resistance bands.
Dynamometers: Dynamometers measure the forces exerted by different parts of the body and they are commonly used to assess handgrip strength. To use a dynamometer, the patient should be seated and place the palms of both hands on the handles of the device. The handle should be gripped as hard as possible for three to five seconds.
The maximum amount of pressure they can apply is then recorded.
Wrist Flexion Tests: To perform this test, a handheld spring scale is used. The patient should grasp one end of a metal stick with both hands and keep his elbows firmly placed on the table. The spring scale should be placed on the metal stick between your hands and the tester should apply pressure until the stick reaches your fingers.
The amount of force needed to reach your fingers is then recorded.
Handgrip Strength Exercises: Hand strength is important in grip strength exercises. The following exercises can be done to strengthen your hand:
Finger curls – This exercise involves curling a dumbbell or a barbell with your fingers. There are two variations of finger curls.
In the first variation, you lift a dumbbell from your lap to just before your fingertips. Do three sets of ten repetitions and use a weight that is light enough for you to complete the set.
The second variation involves lifting a barbell from your lap until your fingers touch it. Do three sets of five repetitions and use a weight that is light enough for you to complete the set.
Crushing grippers – This is a great exercise for building hand strength. It focuses on the crushing power of your hand rather than the flexing of your fingers.
To perform this exercise, begin with a lighter gripper and gradually work your way up to heavier grippers. There are many types of grippers varying from easy to extreme. A popular brand is the Ironmind Hardware Grippers.
Making Handgrip Strength Exercise Plan
Now that you know the different types of handgrip strength exercises, you can make your own plan. The following steps should help you:
Measure your handgrip strength. Use a dynamometer to measure how much force you can exert using both your hands.
Determine your goal.
Are you trying to improve your grip strength for your sport or hobby?
Remember that some sports require more grip strength than others. For example, rock climbers need to have very strong grip strength.
Choose which exercises you’ll do and how many repetitions you’ll do. Remember that the amount of repetitions and sets you do will depend on your specific goal. You can get handgrip strength equipment here.
Add variety to your handgrip strength exercises every once in a while. Doing the same exercises over and over can lead to muscle adaptation that prevents further growth. Changing your hand grip strength routine can prevent this.
Perform your handgrip strength exercises at least twice a week. As you’ll be exercising your hands, it is important that you let them rest for a bit before doing another set of exercises.
Listen to your body. If you feel any pain while doing your exercises, stop and consult a health professional.
Do not overtrain. It is important that you do not do more exercises than what is recommended. Overtraining can lead to injury and interfere with the effectiveness of your hand grip strength exercises.
Do not do handgrip strength exercises when you have an injury. Muscle injuries can occur due to the heavy forces involved in these exercises. If you are injured, you run the risk of further damage that can keep you out of action for a long period of time.
Make sure that you have proper form when doing your exercises. Improper form can lead to injury and hinder your progress. Be sure to check on how you are doing with a qualified professional.
Perform your handgrip strength exercises at a comfortable speed. There is no need to rush and this can also increase your chance of injury.
Add these exercises to your daily routine and you’ll see the benefits in no time at all. The better your handgrip strength, the easier many day-to-day activities will be for you.
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t see immediate results. Some people begin to see results in as little as a couple weeks, but for others it may take up to a few months. How long it takes for you to see results depends on many different factors including your current handgrip strength and your daily routine.
Now that you know the tips and techniques of improving your handgrip strength, all you have to do is put them into action! Get your handgrip strength equipment here.
Sources & references used in this article:
A review of the measurement of grip strength in clinical and epidemiological studies: towards a standardised approach by HC Roberts, HJ Denison, HJ Martin, HP Patel… – Age and …, 2011 – academic.oup.com
Grip strength in the frail elderly by O Shechtman, WC Mann, MD Justiss… – American journal of …, 2004 – journals.lww.com
Hand grip strength and cognitive function among elderly cancer survivors by L Yang, A Koyanagi, L Smith, L Hu, GA Colditz… – PloS one, 2018 – journals.plos.org
Grip strength predicts cardiac adverse events in patients with cardiac disorders: an individual patient pooled meta-analysis by R Pavasini, M Serenelli, CA Celis-Morales, SR Gray… – Heart, 2019 – heart.bmj.com
A feasibility study of implementing grip strength measurement into routine hospital practice (GRImP): study protocol by K Ibrahim, C May, HP Patel, M Baxter, AA Sayer… – Pilot and feasibility …, 2016 – Springer
Use of grip strength meter to assess the limb strength of mdx mice by A De Luca, J Tinsley, A Aartsma-Rus, M van Putten… – SOP DMD_M, 2008 – treat-nmd.eu