Weaker Grip = Shorter Life

June 27, 2017 – 12:36 pm



Weaker grip = lower performance and shorter life. Your grip strength and endurance predict disability (1) and longevity (2) and are often seem to be the limiting constraint when lifting, climbing and grappling near your limit in weight or duration. Many read this and do the opposite: you train the grip more. Sport-specific training makes this error by training more heavily the range you need to use in your sport/job, when you should be doing the opposite for what we call “Antagonistic Balance” in exercise physiology. For greater grip strength, and to live longer without disability, then engage in regular training of vital, yet ignored, antagonist muscles. ❎If you don’t do the opposite, then the neural “maps” for your finger movement merge, so your brain tells your middle finger to extend, but your ring and pinky finger also extend. With “undifferentiated” maps, you can’t fully contract your forearm flexors and as a result your grip weakens. Over time, your grip weakens, and becomes painful and claw-like. ✳️Gripping is flexion of the three joints of the fingers, but the fingers aren’t mere hinges; they also surge forward and roll right/left. The common method for grip balance is to use a rubber band but it: 1️⃣only trains extension of proximal interphalangeal (IP) joints 2️⃣neglects extension of distal IPs, 3️⃣ignores full extension of the most important part of your grip, the metacarpo-phalangeal (MCP) joints, 4️⃣restricts full “white knuckled” abduction. As US National Coach, I had to invent ways to maintain antagonistic balance in grip strength and endurance. This N-MAP program restores: ☑️Extension of the IPs and MCP. ☑️Abduction of the MCP. ☑️and Strengthens the forearm extensors, once range is restored.

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