Hi, everybody Dr. Cobb with you once again.
Hope you are having a great week.
What I want to do today is talk a little bit about hand strength and forearm strength.
Grip Strength Matters
We’ve been going through some different exercises. I’ve talked a lot about isometrics recently, this whole idea that if we just add tension and learn how to kind of connect the brain to the body we can get a lot of stronger, a lot faster and it can do amazing things for us.
One of the things that I see constantly in my work with clients is a progressive loss of grip strength as people get older and it is one of the things that I find, I can even remember my grandmother years ago ask me to open jars for her because her hands couldn’t grip the jar anymore and things like that and there is a lot of research around keeping yourself healthy and how it relates to grip strength.
What I’m going to do today is take you through a quick series of exercises that you can do anywhere literally. I’m going to show you sitting at the conference room table. I’m going to take you through it, show you the positions here and we’ll move in that you can get a little bit more detail.
Grip Strength Exercises
Now the basics of how to do all these exercises are super simple, you are going to get in position, you are going to slowly build tension for about 3 to 4 seconds as you are breathing in and then you are going to be pressing really hard, an isometric contraction, for approximately 6 to 7 seconds and then you release and then you go on to the next exercise.
Now what will happen is we are going to work your wrist in several different positions. We are going to work here, here and here pushing down, in other word this is called wrist flexion we are going to go 3 different positions and then we are going to work in the opposite direction, here, here and here, that’s called wrist extension and then we are going to work on this which is called pronation in medicine, pat-the-dog, letter P pronation. Then we are going to work this position which is called supination, since you can hold your bowl of soup.
Again it’s going to be stuff we can do most of it bilateral so we are using both hands at the same time. This is a very, very quick little strength building exercise you can do like I said anywhere, you can do it unobtrusively mostly in the meeting or sitting at your desk. Let’s go ahead and get started.
Grip Strength Drills – Flexion
The first thing we are going to work on are is this motion which is flexion. Now most of us already do this a lot working to keyboards or using our hands. We are going to emphasize for the first couple of exercises at least keeping our fingers spread and really working on the wrist section.
I’m going to take my hands, I’m going to put them in this position and I’m going to get to the edge of the table, good tall spine and I’m going to start my pressure 1001, 2, 3, 4 as I breath in and then I’m really going to be pressing quite hard 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and slowly let go of the tension.
All right that’s one position the next position is here. Again keeping my fingers spread, put them on the table and staying nice and tall, I’m now going to try and use my thumb as well and we are going to bend the wrist against the resistance of the table and 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and release and you can see I am shaking because I’m putting a lot of pressure on doing it.
Finally I’m going to do this position, the easiest thing typically for this I want to do is to reach down to your knees, get in this position and now keeping your wrist bent, you just pull or press into your knee caps. Okay here we go, breath in, and out, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and release and you can see my arms are starting to get a little bit of blood flow increase.
That’s our first series, here, here and here working into that flexion position.
Grip Strength Drills – Extension
Now we want to reverse that and when we come up into extension. Comeback to my table, bend my wrist like this, put them against the edge of the table and now I start to breath in, as I increase pressure and then push very hard, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and release. My hands are now going to come to this neutral position and the come right underneath the table, sliding in like this, you can include your thumb if you want.
Stay tall, taking care of your head and neck, start your pressure, 1, 2, 3 and then hard, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and release. Now we’ve done this position, we’ve done this position, we have this position left.
Easiest thing to do is actually set your wrist or forearm on the table pull your wrist back and now use your other hand to create the resistance, start breathing in, 1, 2, 3, 4 and out 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, relax, switch to the opposite side, and press, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, relax gently.
Grip Strength Drills – Supination
We have two left to do. We are going to take our hands we are going to put them on top of the tables, our fingers are on top, thumbs are underneath. What we are thinking about doing now is this motion, right, coming in to the soup holding position, supination.
We are going to hold and start the pressure and turn the table, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, relax.
Grip Strength Drills – Pronation
Turn your hands over, and now you are going to go in the opposite direction, ready, start the pressure, 3, 2, 1 and press, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, relax.
Grip Strength With A Relaxed Body
Take a couple of minutes or maybe 30 seconds, shake out any tension that’s built up in there.
Make sure your head and neck are still loose.
Grip Strength Training Recommendations
You probably will feel some good blood flow increase in your forearms, hands should feel a little bit more mobile. Definitely feel a little bit stronger over time. I recommend that you do this maybe 3 to 4 times a week.
You can do it more than that if you want because we are keeping the workload really, really small but we are actually again primarily reminding of the brain and hand and arm that they are connected and that they have to keep talking if you want to maintain some great grip strength.
There you have it.
Let us know how it goes or if you have any questions.