Today we are going to talk about grip strength for men over 40.
As men age, their grip strength tends to decline, making everyday tasks more difficult. However, it is possible for men over the age of 40 to maintain and even improve their grip strength.
With regular strength-training exercises and the correct tools, men can increase the power and endurance of their grip and make everyday activities easier.
You’ll learn how to do these exercises safely and effectively and get tips from top trainers who’ve helped many men like you become stronger and healthier.
Why is Grip Strength or a Firm Grip Important?
Grip strength and a firm grip are important indicators of overall health and fitness. Having grip strength will make lifting heavy things easier, and a firm grip will show confidence when giving a handshake. People who are able to maintain a strong grip are more likely to lead an active lifestyle and engage in activities that promote physical and mental well-being.
Strong grip strength is also essential for athletes, as it can help to improve their performance. And let’s not forget that having a firm grip usually means stronger, muscular forearms, which are considered super sexy by most women.
What is Grip Strength?
Grip strength is the force you can apply to something with your hands. This includes the strength of your muscles and bones and the size of your hands. While it is true that hand strength is essential, several other factors affect how strong your hands are.
The most obvious thing to think about is the size of your hands compared to the rest of your body. If you have large hands relative to your overall body frame, you could have stronger grip strength than someone with smaller hands.
However, the size of your hands isn’t everything. Other factors play into grip strength, including muscle mass, tendon length, joint flexibility, etc.
How Can I Test My Grip Strength?
Testing your grip strength is a simple process that can be done with minimal equipment. To begin, you will need a grip dynamometer, which is a device designed to measure grip strength and a partner to help you with the test. First, you must calibrate the dynamometer to the correct setting.
Once this is done, you must grip the dynamometer with your dominant hand, and your partner will hold the dynamometer steady.
You must then squeeze the dynamometer as hard as you can for three to five seconds. After that, your partner should read the dynamometer and record the results.
You can then repeat this process with your other hand and compare the results to determine the difference in grip strength between each hand.
What is the Average Grip Strength Per Age Group?
The average grip strength per age group can vary significantly depending on the individual’s health and fitness level.
Generally, grip strength increases until the mid-20s and then declines slowly with age. As people age, grip strength tends to decline due to decreased muscle mass, changes in joint tissues, and reduced nerve transmission.
Grip strength is also affected by lifestyle factors such as smoking, diet, and physical activity. Generally speaking, grip strength is higher in younger age groups (under 30) and lower in older age groups (over 60).
LET ME GIVE YOU SOME GRIP STRENGTH NUMBERS:
Excellent: >141 lbs (>64kg)
Very good: 123-141 lbs (56-64 kg)
Above average: 114-122 lbs (52-55 kg)
Average: 105-113 lbs (48-51 kg)
Below average: 96-104 lbs (44-47 kg)
Poor: 88-95 lbs (40-43 kg)
Very poor: <88 lbs (<40 kg)
10 Interesting Grip Strength Facts You Didn’t Know
1. Grip strength measures how much force you can exert with your hands.
2. Research has shown that grip strength is a predictor of overall health, with weaker grip strength indicating an increased risk of mortality.
3. Grip strength is determined by both muscular and skeletal factors.
4. Grip strength decreases with age, which can be attributed to the decrease in muscle mass and bone density that comes with aging.
5. Studies have found that grip strength is related to cognitive ability, with people with higher grip strength having higher IQs.
6. The average grip strength for men is about twice that of women due to differences in body size and muscle mass.
7. Training your grip strength can help improve your overall strength and performance in sports and other activities.
8. Grip strength can be improved through various exercises, such as lifting weights, using grip strengtheners, or doing pull-ups.
9. According to one study, handgrip strength can be improved by up to 30% with just eight weeks of training.
10. Having a solid grip can help prevent injuries and improve performance in activities such as climbing and rock climbing.
Grip Strength For Men Over 40 and Overall Health
The researchers used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a nationally representative survey conducted by the CDC every four years since 1999. They looked specifically at people over 50 years old and compared those with high versus low grip strength.
They found no difference in incidence rates of chronic diseases such as heart attack, stroke, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, depression, and osteoporosis. However, people with lower grip strength did tend to have more problems recovering from acute illnesses, such as pneumonia, urinary tract infections, or flu.
Researchers say it seems like having weak muscles could make you sicker. “People with weaker grip strength are less able to compensate for conditions that affect other systems,” says lead author Dr. James Levine, director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Integrative Medicine.
“For example, someone with poor circulation in his legs might have trouble walking up steps. He’ll fall if he doesn’t have good hand strength.”
Types of Grip Strength
Gripping strength is one of those things that people don’t think about much. However, there are different types of grip strength, and knowing what you’re dealing with can help you better train for it.
The most common form of gripping strength is a maximal voluntary contraction (MVC), the strongest possible squeeze you can exert.
This is generally measured in pounds per square inch (PSI), although some sources use kilograms per centimeter squared (kg/cm2). In both cases, the higher the number, the stronger the grip.
Another form of gripping strength is power, which is how much pressure you can apply over a given distance. Power is usually expressed in PSI or kg/cm2, depending on whether you want to measure peak or average force.
A third way to look at gripping strength is endurance, which refers to how long you can hold onto something without losing your grip. Endurance is typically measured in seconds, although some sources report minutes.
— Crushing is when you close your fingers against resistance. Wrapping your fingers around something and squeezing them together is similar to crimping your fingers.
— Grasping something with the thumb in opposition to the fingers is called pinching. This can be either static (with no movement, such as gripping something stationary) or dynamic (with some movement, such as squeezing something). Pinching
— Support grip means using the forearm muscles (the brachioradialis) to lift something. Usually, these movements involve isometrics, like deadlifts and rows, but they could also include kettlebell swings.
A genuine support grip involves the fingers wrapping tightly around the bar. If the handle is big enough that there is a gap between the fingers and thumb when they’re wrapped around it, then it’s called supporting.
— Antagonistic action is when you open your hand by extending your fingers and thumb instead of flexing them—also called hand extension.
Benefits of Having a Strong Grip
A man’s handshake says a lot about him. A firm shake communicates confidence, while a limp one conveys weakness. This goes double for a man who is trying to impress someone else.
While he doesn’t want to appear too aggressive, he does want to show his handiwork. And nothing says “I’m confident” like a firm handshake.
Strong hands help us do things we might otherwise struggle with. For instance, lifting heavy objects requires a certain amount of strength. But even though you’re stronger than most people, there are times when you’ll find yourself struggling to lift something.
You know what I mean if you’ve ever tried to pick up a gallon of milk without breaking anything.
#1: YOU’RE ONLY AS STRONG AS YOUR GRIP
How often has your grip failed you during a workout? How often have your hands given out before other muscle groups? For example, if your forearms and hands get tired doing traps, deadlifts, or biceps curls, you’re not as strong as you could be.
Most of the muscles in your entire body are designed to help you hang and lift things from the ground. Many powerful movements require carrying weights around. This means keeping control of that weight. Is your grip strength okay?
Your grip also affects your pushing muscle groups. It usually depends on which muscle group is exhausted first. If your grip is exhausted first, it limits the amount of work you can put into your pulling muscles.
Your body has several mechanisms for keeping your overall muscle mass relatively even. It’s not just your biceps that get stronger when you lift weights; your triceps also get stronger because they work together with your biceps.
Stronger grips correlate to stronger pushing muscles; a strong grip can affect your abs! The hanging leg raise is the best ab workout— an excellent full-body exercise. Don’t avoid getting stronger! A firm grip correlates to a stronger body and better performance.
Some athletes must emphasize grip strength training throughout their training programs because of the nature of their sport (e.g., golfers). It’s an essential part of their training program.
Strongman competitors cannot lift those hefty weights if they don’t have strong grips. American Ninja Warriors contestants cannot climb steep inclines if they don’t have good grips.
Combat soldiers cannot fire weapons effectively if they lack strong hands. Rock climbers cannot scale challenging routes if they don’t have adequate hand strength.
Strengthening your hands and forearms increases upper body endurance, allows you to perform more repetitions, and enables you to achieve greater heights in your fitness and sports journey.
#2. FIRM HANDSHAKE
A firm handshake.
It reflects the overall personality of an individual, and whatever is good enough for one person is good enough for another.
The first thing that matters most when interviewing for jobs is the handshake someone can make or their body posture. It plays a vital role in our lives for interviews, big business deals, and everyday life.
How you shake someone’s hand says a lot about your confidence in yourself. You may think that shaking hands is a simple gesture, but it reflects your confidence level.
So, always try to give a firm handshake and make sure that you keep your hand steady while shaking hands.
#3. PREVENTING INJURIES
Sports, weightlifting, or even mundane daily chores without grip strength training can potentially lead to injuries such as tennis elbow and Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. A strong grip can help protect the fingers, wrists, and hands from strain and fatigue.
#4. STRONGER AND BIGGER FOREARMS
Training your grip strength will help increase your forearm girth. “That word sounds so weird, but in this context, it’s appropriate.” Bigger, muscled forearms and strong hands indicate strength.
Furthermore, more muscular forearms will help you develop bigger arms, biceps, triceps, shoulders, back, chest, and abdominal muscles. Stronger muscles lead to greater muscle endurance, leading to improved muscle hypertrophy.
#5. Lower Mortality Risk
A firm grip won’t make you immortal, but if you are careful, it might help you live longer.
A 2015 study found that people with stronger grips showed various health benefits and were less likely to die from multiple causes. This is because of the correlation between grip strength, bone density, heart rate, and overall health.
Grip strength was found to be “inversely associated” with all-cause mortality, and for each five-kilogram decrease, there was an increased risk of death by 17%. Mind-blowing stuff if you ask me.
#6. Improves Athletic Performance
Having a strong grip can help to improve athletic performance, as it allows you to hold onto objects more tightly and for extended periods. This can be especially beneficial in tennis, golf, and weightlifting.
9 Best Exercises to Improve Grip Strength
Fortunately, grip strength is something that you can quickly improve upon, and you will see improvements within a short period.
To get solid wrists and hands fast, focus on compound movements that require maximum grip recruitment, like deadlifts and a wide range of dumbbell exercises.
Here, I’ve listed some of the best exercises for building up your grip strength, including ones you can do at the gym and others without equipment. I’ve also included some helpful tips and tricks for speeding things up.
1. Farmer’s Walks
One of the best things about this exercise is that it doesn’t require any special equipment. The aim is to carry the weight for as long as possible. It’s straightforward. If you get tired, stop for a moment, then pick up where you left off.
2. Zottman Curl
This one is great for those with smaller hands. Grab two dumbbells and curl them toward your face. Keep your elbows close to your sides, and don’t allow them to flare outwards. Do ten reps per set.
3. EZ reverse curl
The easiest way to do a reverse curl is to hold a dumbbell in each hand, keeping your arms straight and close together. As you inhale, lift one arm off the floor, curling it toward your head while simultaneously pulling the opposite arm down.
Keep your elbows tight against your sides and let gravity pull your body into a reverse curl position. Repeat with the second arm.
The deadlift is one of the most valuable exercises. It strengthens your lower back, hamstrings, glutes, quads, shoulders, and core muscles and works your arms.
And there’s nothing better, more effective, or more fun than deadlifts. They’re simple enough to do without worrying about technique, complex enough to challenge your endurance, and versatile enough to fit into almost every workout routine.
Deadlifts are great for building muscle mass, improving athletic performance, and strengthening your forearms and hand strength.
The pull-up is probably the best-known of all upper-body exercises. This exercise builds both arm and shoulder muscles while strengthening the core.
With an overhand grip, grab the bar with your hands wider than shoulder-width apart. Your body hangs straight from your shoulders with your arms completely extended out. Squeeze your lat muscles until your chest is above your bar, then lower back down without swinging.
You can start slow, but eventually, you’ll be able to build up your strength. Start with two or three repetitions and then gradually increase them until you can perform ten repetitions.
6. Press-Ups (fingers only)
This one is a little advanced, but once mastered; it’s a surefire way of improving strength in your fingers, wrist, and forearm muscles. For each set, perform three sets of 10 repetitions. Start with just five reps per hand.
As you progress, increase the number of repetitions per hand. When you feel comfortable performing 15 repetitions with good form, add weight.
The goal is to work your finger flexors while building muscle mass and endurance. You don’t want to go too heavy, though. If you’re doing this exercise correctly, you shouldn’t experience any pain.
To make things easier, try alternating between pressing up with both hands.
7. Reverse Press-Up
The reverse press-up is one of those moves you’ve heard about but have never seen before because it requires serious upper-body strength. But don’t let that stop you from trying it out.
If you want to build up your arms, shoulders, and chest muscles without adding bulk, this move could be just what you need.
Reversing your grip so that your hands face each other instead of facing forward, you place more emphasis on your wrists, forearms, and elbows.
8. Dead Hang
Dead hang exercises are a great way of developing grip strength. You hang from an overhead beam with your arms extended and your body in an open position. You’ll find dead hang bars (also called “dead man” s bars) in most gyms, usually next to pull-up bars.
Unfortunately, I cannot do this exercise because of my shoulder injury; however, I am sure it would be good for you.
9. Use a Hand Strengthener
The hand strengthener works by strengthening the muscles that control gripping strength. These include the forearm flexors (the biceps), wrist extensors (the triceps), and fingers.
When you use the hand strengthener, you’re working out these muscles. This helps prevent injuries and strengthens them at the same time.
Place your hands over the device to use the hand strengthener and squeeze the handles together. Hold this position for 30 seconds at least three times per day.
In conclusion, grip strength is a critical component of daily life and overall fitness. In fact, according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), it’s the most crucial factor in determining whether someone can perform physical tasks like lifting weights or playing sports.
But despite its importance, grip strength doesn’t tend to receive nearly as much attention as other aspects of exercise. That’s unfortunate because our hands aren’t usually used for anything too strenuous, unlike other muscle groups.
So if we want to build strong hands, we must focus on exercises targeting specific muscles.
And if you want to build strong muscles, you must lift heavy weights. Fortunately, there are many ways to improve your grip strength without spending hours in the gym.
Start with the exercises described above, and let me know which ones work best for you in the comment section below.