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  • Michael Wolff

Health, Longevity, and a Strong Grip

The scientific literature is awash in correlations between a person’s health status and various bio-markers, personal characteristics, and measurements. One of my favorite health markers—one that is both modifiable and a good barometer for the conditions it appears to predict—is grip strength.

In middle-aged and elderly people, grip strength consistently predicts mortality risk from all causes, doing an even better job than blood pressure.

Poor grip strength is also an independent risk factor for type 2 diabetes across all ethnicity, and it can predict the presence of osteoarthritis in the knee.

Even when hand grip strength fails to predict a disease, it still predicts the quality of life in people with the disease. The relative rate of grip strength reduction in healthy people is a good marker for the progression of general aging. Faster decline, faster aging. Slower (or no) decline, slower aging. Stronger people—as indicated by their grip strength—are simply better at navigating the physical world and maintaining independence on into old age.

Health, longevity, and a strong grip. What more could you ask for?

So, how does one build grip?

  1. Pull down

  2. Compound Row

  3. Assisted Chin

  4. Bicep curl machine or free weights

  5. Dead-lift

  6. Gripper

  7. Any dumbbell exercise

By working progressively on these, you are sure to crush your next handshake.

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