I have very few specific memories of my Great Grandfather, who was in his 90’s when he passed away. One of those memories is how strong and crushing his grip was for such an old man. I remember shaking his hand and being brought to my knees with a bone-crushing grip as he smiled at me and said hello. He was a small, wiry old Italian man who was deceptively strong!
One story that my parents have related to me so many times that is has become a “memory” of him happened when I was a newborn baby. We were living up in rural Connecticut and apparently there was a huge rock, a boulder, planted right smack in the middle of the front yard. My father was planning to hire some workers to come dig it out, but Great Grandfather wouldn’t hear of it. One day, while my Dad was at work, he grabbed a shovel and dug the whole thing out himself!
It is said that the strength of the hands determines the strength of the body. The power and strength of the body is expressed through the hands.
Not Strong Enough…
An oft repeated conversation I have at the gym with some of the heavy lifters is how they must train their grip strength. Usually the conversation starts with someone asking for a spare pair of straps because the heavier dead-lifts are causing their grip to fail.
They explain to me that they CAN lift more, it’s just that they can’t hold onto the bar. Whereupon I reply that no they CANNOT lift more until they strengthen their grip. If your grip is the weak-point in the lift you don’t simply substitute the tensional integrity of your own muscle and connective tissue for a strap. This doesn’t make you stronger, it makes you weaker. The only remedy is for you to strengthen your grip!!
Types of Grip Strength
- Crush Grip
- Pinch Grip
- Support Grip
- Wrist Strength