How much time have you put into your grip strength? If you think about your movement practice, how much grip strength does it require? And why are we even talking about this?
If you practice Yoga you are constantly pushing away from the mat with your hands. If you practice Aerial you are pulling and gripping most of the time, so here’s why your hands are important:
- Your wrist may be small but it has several bones, muscles and tissues making it detailed and delicate.
- Lack of care for your hands and wrists can lead to CTS (Carpal Tunnel Syndrome)
- Wrist pain
- Ligament Injury
- Nerve Irritation and more.
Why is your grip important?
Well if you want to progress in your aerial journey you will need to be able to hold onto the silks and pull yourself up. You will also want strength in your fingers, hands and wrists to support the correct alignment of your arms, shoulders and spine through tricks and postures.
What are the experts saying?
For most men, grip strength begins to decline around age 55. The change may be associated with sarcopenia—the natural age-related decline in muscle mass. “When you lose strength in your upper and lower body, odds are your grip strength will suffer too,” says Cole*. In addition to normal aging, possible causes include diseases like osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis and medical conditions such as nerve damage or tendonitis in the hands or wrists.
A weak grip may be a reflection of other aspects of your health, too, such as your potential risk of a heart attack or stroke. A study published July 18, 2015, in The Lancet followed almost 140,000 adults ages 35 to 70. Grip strength was assessed using a hand dynamometer—an instrument that measures the maximum force with which a person can squeeze two handles together.
The findings showed that a 5-kilogram (kg) decline in grip strength was associated with a 17% increased risk of dying from a heart attack, and a 7% and 9% chance of having a heart attack or stroke, respectively, over a four-year period. The link? The researchers speculated that a stronger grip indicated more muscle mass, which in turn results from increased activity and overall health. And healthier people in general have lower risks for heart disease and stroke.*Extracted from https://www.health.harvard.edu/healthy-aging/give-grip-strength-a-hand
I know it isn’t the exciting part of your practice, it can be repetitive and even a little boring when you’re ready to go but it’s important to have a sustainable practice with longevity.
If you are interested in learning more about your grip strength or want to start training in Aerial Arts, get in touch for a private class or check out my schedule.