Does Grip Strength Matter?

While you might think that it doesn’t pertain to your practice—we’re constantly being cued to loosen our grip, after all—two recent studies suggest it’s related to your overall health.

In BMC Medicine, British researchers found that people who spent their free time in front of a TV or computer screen increased their risk of death, heart disease and cancer. But the most surprising part: Those with low grip strength carried double the risk versus participants with more strength.

As if that wasn’t scary enough, take this: Grip strength was also linked to lung capacity—which indicates the functionality of your respiratory system. According to science in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, a weak hand grip signaled poor lung health in older adults.

Although it’s worth nothing that grip strength is sometimes used as a measure of overall fitness, it’s well worth working on, since—PSA!—some of the muscles responsible for grip strength are also deeply involved in cultivating wrist strength, which is unquestionably needed for countless movements in the method repertoire.  —Amanda Altman 


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