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Grip Strength – What It Is, How to Improve, and Measure

What is grip strength?

Grip strength is the ability how strongly and securely you may hold onto objects and how weighty the thing you can grip. Grip strength is also known as hand strength. It is an anthropometric measurement that represents the muscle health of forearms and hands. The grip measurement includes longitudinal studies as it is a symptom of your complete well-being.

How is grip strength measured?

Grip strength is usually measured by an occupational or physiotherapist for any condition associated with weakness. Your therapist may conduct a grip strength examination. They measure your grasping capacity using a hand-held dynamometer. Patients squeeze the dynamometer with their maximum strength, usually three times with both hands. 

Then the doctor calculates an average score using the assessments from both hands. The Journal of the American Geriatric Society has published an article in 2010 on gripping strength; they found that health minimum squeeze counts linked with better mobility in senior adults were approximately 72.6 pounds for men of normal body weight and 44 pounds for women with average body weight.

Best exercises to improve grip strength

There are three significant kinds of grip strength you can improve:

Crush: It means how strong your grip is utilizing the fingers and palm of your hand

Support: It means how can you hold onto an object, or you can hang from something

Pinch: It means how strongly you can pinch a thin object between your fingers and thumb

Exercises you can practice to develop an amazing grip strength:

Towel wring

Type of grip: crush

Tool required: Cotton towel and water

How it is performed:

  • Completely wet the towel
  • Hold each end of the towel. Thus, it may stay horizontal in front of you
  • Grip the ends, move each hand in completely opposite directions. Thus, you can begin to squeeze water from the towel
  • Draw out the towel until you can’t see any water from it
  • Wet the towel again, move your hands in other directions. Thus, you may work with both kinds of crush grip
  • Repeat steps first to fifth at minimum three times.

Hand Clench

Type of grip: crush

Tool required: Tennis ball or stress ball, grip trainer

How it is performed:

  • Put a stress ball or tennis ball in the palm of your hand
  • Squeeze the finger by your finger but avoid your thumb
  • Compress as tight as you can, then release your grip
  • Repeat this 50-100 times a day to see the visible consequence

Farmer’s Carry

Type of grip: Support

Tool required: 

Dumbbells (20-50 pounds depending upon your potential and comfort level)

How it’s performed:

  • Hold a dumbbell by both hands, with your palms facing at your body
  • Looking straight forward, maintain an upright posture, walk about 50 feet in a single direction
  • Turn back and return to your origin from where you have started
  • Repeat this process three times

Plate Pinch

  • Type of grip: Pinch

Tools required: 

  • Two weight plates (Minimum 10 pounds each)

How it’s performed:

  • Put two weight plates on the ground, then have a raised bench.
  • Land on and grab the plates with your right hand between your thumb and finger. Thus, your fingers will be on one side, and your thumb will be on another side.
  • Maintain this posture and hold the plates with your hand for five minutes
  • Then gradually lower the plates down to the raised bench or surface.
  • Repeat it 5-10 times, three times a day; after one month, you can notice the result.

What is the average grip strength for men and women?

As per the Australian 2011 population-based study, the average grip strength of men and women is listed below according to the age group:

Average grip strength of men – Age (20-29)- Left hand: 99 lbs; Right hand: 103 lbs

Average grip strength of men – Age (30-39)- Left hand: 103 lbs; Right hand: 103 lbs

Average grip strength of men – Age (40-49)- Left hand: 99 lbs; Right hand: 103 lbs

Average grip strength of men – Age (50-59)- Left hand: 94 lbs; Right hand: 99 lbs

Average grip strength of men – Age (60-69)- Left hand: 83 lbs; Right hand: 88 lbs

Average grip strength of women – Age (20-29)- Left hand: 61 lbs; Right hand: 66 lbs

Average grip strength of women – Age (20-29)- Left hand: 63 lbs; Right hand: 68 lbs

Average grip strength of women – Age (20-29)- Left hand: 57 lbs; Right hand: 61 lbs

Average grip strength of women – Age (20-29)- Left hand: 50 lbs; Right hand: 52 lbs

 Your grip strength is being measured depending on multiple elements, including body energy level, how much you used your hands in the entire day, and overall health condition means if you are sick or mentally/ physically healthy.

Why is grip strength essential?

  • Carrying grocery items or shopping bag
  • Holding your fussy kid
  • Carrying laundry basket
  • Opening the tight leaded jar
  • Hitting a bat in softball, baseball
  • During Wrestling or fighting, or doing martial art activities
  • In powerlifting
  • Utilizing hands in CrossFit exercises

A research study of grip strength found that it is one of the best predictors of entire muscle strength and endurance. Thus, you must practice grip strength exercises with grip strength equipment.


Akshay Sharma is a digital marketing enthusiast and has written many topics in the related field like health, fitness and lifestyle. You can reach out to him by @alex.sharma11

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