Located in Sterling, VA (703) 421-1200

Get a Grip, by Ralph Weinstein

The strength of your body starts with your hands so grip strength is very important. It affects most muscle groups you use and most exercises you do. There are 35 muscles involved in movement of the forearm and hand, with many of these involved in gripping activities. During gripping activities, the muscles of the flexor mechanism in the hand and forearm create grip strength while the extensors of the forearm stabilize the wrist.

Our fingers don't have any muscles of their own. They move through the pulling of tendons attached to the bones that are controlled by the muscles in the hand and forearm. This is one of the main reasons that strength training is so important for lower arm health; as we age our muscles begin to lose tone and strength and this can lead to problems in finger strength and coordination.

Last year I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) which developed in two fingers in my right hand. RA is symmetrical; however, it did not develop in my left hand. My X-rays and bloodwork showed I had RA even though it wasn't in both hands. My fingers are swollen constantly and the pain is very intense.

My weekly workouts at Total Results helps immensely to retain and build the strength in my hands but I found it's too long between workouts. So I purchased a set of hand grips which are two handles joined by springs. These devices isolate your forearm muscles when squeezed helping build your grip strength.

I do one set of 35 to 40 reps every morning. It helps my blood circulation and relieves the pain. The COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily shut down Total Results and we are encouraged to exercise at home during this period. Hand grips are very inexpensive and should be a part of your home routine. Should you not want to purchase them a tennis ball will suffice. Simply squeeze very slowly.

Keeping your fingers, hands, wrists, and forearms strong and healthy is critical to your quality of life. Without these body parts capable of functioning fully, you can lose not just your mobility but your independence as well.

Posted March 28, 2020 by Tim Rankin