You are here

Hand Grip Strength - One of the Best Indicators of Health-Related Quality of Life in Old Age

Over the past year, I've noticed an increasing stream of studies that point to hand grip strength as a strong indicator of health-related quality of life in old age. This aligns with mounting evidence that one of the best things we can do to preserve our health as we age is to develop and maintain muscle tissue and the physical strength that it affords.

With hand grip strength in mind, I recorded a simple routine of the most important exercises that virtually everyone can do to improve and maintain grip strength. Though titled "Eliminate Tennis Elbow," at the heart of the video above are simple ways of improving grip strength at any age.

While squeezing a tennis ball or a grip strengthening tool is valuable and recommended, I feel that the single best exercise for grip strength is full extension of the fingers and thumb - this is the last exercise in the 4-minute video linked above.

The primary reason is this: the most common activities of daily living involve squeezing objects in our hands, so the vast majority of us have under-developed forearm extensors. This is why tennis elbow is far more common than golfer's elbow, as tennis elbow involves a breakdown of the tendons of our forearm extensors.

A significant determinant of grip strength is the health of our forearm extensor muscle tendons at our elbow and also at our wrist - where these tendons are not well conditioned, they are more prone to micro-tears and signalling pain whenever we squeeze objects like a hammer or a tight jar lid.

If you have any questions about this, please use the comments section under this video at our YouTube channel:

https://youtu.be/nR6-IdHH00k

All you need to ask questions and interact with our readership at YouTube is a google account, which is free. While there, please consider subscribing to our YouTube channel, as I'm leaning toward shifting all of our Q&A to the comments section of YouTube so that we can build a living archive of information and experiences that can be helpful to everyone.

Please consider sharing this video with family and friends, as working on hand grip strength is something that everyone can do at any age and in any location.

 
 

Join more than 100,000 readers worldwide who receive Dr. Ben Kim's free newsletter

Receive simple suggestions to measurably improve your health and mobility, plus alerts on specials and giveaways at our catalogue

Please Rate This

Your rating: None Average: 4.8 (14 votes)
 
 
 

Comments

Thank you for these exercises. I can really feel the tightness of my arm muscles from years of overuse. Will this assist in healing sore wrists as well?

I’ve enjoyed all your videos. Very educational. Thank you!

It's my pleasure, Mirian.

Yes, these exercises will help improve the health and strength of the tendons around the wrists and elbows. Thank you for your feedback!

Ben

Dear Dr. Kim,

I love these Hand Grip Strengthening exercises (Eliminate Tennis Elbow). Would these be beneficial for TFCC Tear/Injury as well? What if a hairline fracture is present in the Ulna near the wrist? I love your style - so simple and honest. Catherine

Thank you Catherine. Yes, these exercises will help condition all of the ligaments of the wrist. Just be sure not to over-ride pain. It's always best to err on the side of the conservative and do a little each day without creating additional inflammation from working the tissues too aggressively. Good luck!

Ben

Hi Dr Kim, thankyou very much for all your helpful videos, tips & encouraging & insperational messages. I have stated taking guitar lessons, & was wondering if these exercises would be beneficial in helping my fingers to stretch. At the moment I am having great difficulty stretching all 4 fingers at once onto the 4 frets moving up the strings. People say it just takes practice, although I am sure there must be some exercise that can help with this? I am 66yrs & in good health, no arthritis. Bit frustrated, thinking of taking up piano!!! Kind regard, Irene God bless.

Dear Irene,

Thank you for your question!

Below is the link to one of Dr. Kim's videos that we think will be helpful for you:
http://drbenkim.com/exercises-hands-fingers-pain-stiffness.htm

Warm wishes to you,
Shelby
Client Care Manager