Monday, April 22, 2024
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Getting a grip!

Danae van den Berg from the Better Body Group gives her advice on strengthening your grip.

Danae van den Berg is Exercise Specialist at the Better Body Group.
I’d be very curious to learn how many people in and around the West Kent community actively try to strengthen their grip. Why is it that something so often used is also so often overlooked? You use it for almost everything in your day-to-day life; vacuuming, driving, moving furniture or cooking.
And that’s just one aspect, never mind sports and activities like golf, tennis, cricket, and so many more. And how about in your weight training? Consider movements like pull-ups, farmer’s carries, deadlifts and the like. Improved grip strength may be your key to better, more efficient lifting. 
Don’t just necessarily think of the strength in your hand; instead, good grip strength encompasses the muscles running from your elbow all the way down to your fingertips. Believe it or not, there is actually a correlation between your grip strength and your bone and cardiovascular health. Studies have been thoroughly done to prove that grip strength also aligns with a lower mortality risk, improved sports performance, and a higher quality of life. Sold yet? Further benefits of good grip strength include:
• Improved motor skills 
• A higher resistance to arthritis
• Improvements in strength and therefore muscle mass
• A lower risk of injury
• Less chance of tendinitis
Still not convinced? Here are some signs that your grip strength may need some attention:
• Your forearms ache after gripping items
• You struggle to keep hold of weights
• Constantly having to readjust your grip
• Hand cramps
I’ve laid out the facts, but how do you actually go about improving your grip strength? Here are some movements and exercises to try.
Deadlift: a tried and tested classic, the barbell deadlift is a great way to train your posterior chain while also working on your grip strength. The heavier the weight, the stronger your grip strength needs to be. The movement is performed when the barbell is lifted from the floor, finishing with you standing in a locked-out position. Not sure on this? Come ask one of our friendly coaches!
Farmer’s carry: this functional movement never fails to target your forearms, hands, wrists and and shoulders. It involves carrying a weight in each hand for anywhere from 20-40m onwards. Think of it like carrying your grocery bags in one trip!
Dead hang: The simplest one! Find a bar and hang from it. Sounds easy, right? Build up your strength by trying for a 10-30 second hang, and increasing the time from there. Your forearms won’t know what hit them. 
I understand that grip strength is not something anyone usually thinks about, but don’t take it for granted. Once you start to lose that natural strength, you’ll wish you did the work earlier. So let’s get comfortable being uncomfortable, and go get strong!
For any questions or to book in a free consultation with one of our friendly experts, email us at


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