Workout Tips

Get a Stronger Grip to Extend Your Life

New study connects weak grip strength to shorter life spans.

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The Lancet, a prestigious medical journal just released a study indicating that a weak grip strength is connected to a shorter life.

The study involved close to 14,000 adults from the ages of 35-70 living in 17 different countries. Each individual's grip strength was tested by using a handgrip dynamometer. Subjects were then followed for about four years. During the follow up, each person's health history over those four years were evaluated for any illnesses and diseases. It was indicated that those who developed cardiovasular and non-cardiovascular disease during those four years had a lower grip strength. 

forearm grip

Results also showed that every 11-pound drop in grip strength was connected to a 16 percent increased risk for death from any cause, a 17 percent higher risk for cardiovascular death and non-cardiovascular related death, a 7 percent risk for a heart attack, and a 9 percent risk for a stroke.The findings provide further evidence as to how muscular strength impacts health. Dr. Darryl Leong, lead researcher of the study says, "Grip strength could be an easy and inexpensive test to assess an individual's risk of death and cardiovascular disease. Further research is needed to establish whether efforts to improve muscle strength are likely to reduce and individual's risk of death and cardiovascular disease." 

Strengthen Your Grip

towel grip pull-ups

When the bar is too heavy, work on stregthening your grip. A strong grip strength can make a workout more efficient -- hitting your fitness goals more quickly. 

Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, Noah Bryant recommends the following to help you increase your grip strength. 

  1. Only use straps for your heavy lifts.
  2. If a fat bar is available, use it for any of your lifts. It's bound to help create a stronger grip. 
  3. Complete your deadlifts with a double overhand grip -- not a hook grip. 
  4. With two plates, smooth side facing out -- pinch the plates for 10-15 seconds. 
  5. Do towel pullups.

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