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What Does Grip Strength Say About Overall Health?

by Jessica Hegg June 03, 2022 0 Comments

Woman holding grip strengthener

Doctors have always understood that muscle strength plays a significant role in overall health. However, they’re beginning to wonder whether one particular group of muscles may play a larger role than the others. The muscles in the wrist and forearm control our hand grip and may be one of the most important ways to measure biological age.

Muscles Changes & Grip Strength as We Age

Our bodies are constantly changing throughout our lives, and when we reach old age, there are a few key factors that come into play. Our relationships to medical conditions, physical fitness, and muscle strength all shift. However, these changes aren’t the same for everyone, and a person’s age in years can be different than their biological age.

Biological age is simply a sign of how well a body is functioning relative to its age in years. There’s no exact way to measure it, however, one of the key indicators is muscle strength. The reason is that muscle strength plays a large role in overall health. This includes how well we withstand diseases, even chronic conditions like cancer and type 2 diabetes.

As we age, muscle strength begins to decline, which is part of the reason why older adults are at greater risk for health problems. The good news is not all older adults need to suffer from loss of muscle strength.

Why Grip Strength Matters

According to a 2018 study, there’s an even more specific indicator for biological age. In a study including over 500,000 participants, low grip strength was found to have a direct relationship with a higher risk of negative health outcomes, including heart disease and several types of cancer.

The reverse is also true. Those who have higher grip strength were shown to have greater disease resistance and enjoy a higher quality of life. This applied to people across all age groups, meaning that older people with higher grip strength can have a greater resistance to disease than younger people with weaker grips.

Test your grip strength!

How Important is Grip Strength?

So why does grip strength have such a dramatic impact on our health? Experts say that grip strength has an important role but is ultimately only a piece of the puzzle. Genetics also plays a part, as well as overall physical fitness.

One of the reasons why it has become such a hot topic recently is because the grip is a convenient way to measure body strength. Rather than asking older adults to lift heavy weights or go on long runs, they can use grip strength testers to get an idea of their overall physical fitness.

Training your grip can be an excellent way to get in some exercise, but it doesn’t necessarily equate to a longer life. Instead, it’s best to train our grip strength along with the rest of our body for balanced physical fitness.

Measuring Your Grip Strength

Measuring your grip strength at home can be a great way to understand your biological age. A Personal Grip Strength Tester can give you an accurate reading in seconds. Simply adjust the handle for a comfortable fit, squeeze the grip, and check your results on a large, easy-to-read display.

For a general idea of the average grip strength for your gender and age group, take a look at this chart.

Maintaining Grip Strength

If your grip strength isn’t what it used to be, making the effort to give your hands a workout can be just what the doctor ordered. For comprehensive grip strength, try to take advantage of all these strategies:

Resistance Training Equipment

There is a wide range of different gadgets that can help you train your grip, at home, at the office, or on the go. Take a look at some of these popular options and choose the one you like best:

  • Therapy Putty is a fun way to train grip that uses non-toxic putty to work your muscles. There is a range of resistance levels, meaning you can tailor your workout to your needs.
  • Finger Hand Strengtheners are great whether you’re looking to work on specific fingers or the whole hand. Try the light, medium, or heavy resistance levels.
  • Strengthener Rings work much the same as therapy putty but are available in attractive and portable ring designs. There are six different resistance levels ranging from 10 to 50 lbs.

Here’s a guide to help you choose the best grip strengthener tools for your needs.

Grip Exercises

If you want to make the most of your resistance training tools, planning your workout can make all the difference. While all of the above pieces of equipment are simple and easy to use, specific exercises can help you pace yourself and work specific muscles. 

Therapy Putty Exercises

Find more exercises you can do on your own in our guide for the best strengthening exercises which includes video demonstrations from experienced physical therapists.

Taking Care of Your Body

At the end of the day, grip strength is just one part of your overall body strength. Keeping the muscles in your wrist and forearm healthy is the same as any other part of your body. That means eating healthy, getting enough sleep, and stretching before and after your workout are all crucial.

Get a Grip on Total Body Health

While maintaining health into old age can be a challenge, grip strength can give us an idea of how well our body is aging. Even for those whose grip strength could use a little work, there are plenty of ways to improve or maintain the muscles in our wrists and forearms. In the end, a bit of persistent effort can go a long way toward improving our independence and quality of life.

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Jessica Hegg
Jessica Hegg

Jessica Hegg is the content manager and at With vast product knowledge and understanding of individual needs, she aims to share valuable information on making smart buying choices, overcoming obstacles and overall improving the quality of life for others. Avid gym-rat and nutrition enthusiast, she’s interested in all things related to staying active and living healthy lifestyle.

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