Think of all the times we require grip strength: Turning a doorknob, opening a jar, lifting a weight, or just picking up a phone.
Our grip strength is something that we often don’t notice in our day-to-day life, but it is something we take for granted and it is crucial towards our independent living. In fact, grip strength can be used as an early indicator and screening tool for neurological and musculoskeletal diseases. There is also a correlative link between loss of grip strength and risk of fractures, loss of mobility, loss of cognition, and mortality in elderly populations. Research has suggested that elderly adults require grip strengths of 28.5 kg for men and 18.5 kg for women to be able to perform heavy tasks on a daily basis.
While grip strength training may not improve mortality rates and cognitive loss, it can improve ability to maintain functional movements and improve overall health. Performing any upper limb resistance exercise will train grip strength, as grip is required for any of the movements. For more specific exercises for grip strength, exercises like ball squeeze as well as hand grip strengtheners can be used.
Remember that strength is only one part of the equation, and mobility matters just as much. So along with the strengthening exercises, some wrist and forearm stretches will ensure you have optimal movements as you get older.