Strength is commonly defined as your body’s ability to apply force and relates to various body parts and muscle groups. For example, grip strength is an upper-extremity function that measures the amount of force produced through the hand. While grip strength can be improved through proper training, there are numerous physiological factors that contribute to your grip strength.
Grip strength is related to your ability to firmly grip an object. As a result, hand size is a physiological factor of grip strength. Someone with large hands and long fingers will generally have greater grip strength than someone with smaller hands or shorter fingers.
The strength in your forearms is a major factor contributing to your level of grip strength. You can improve the strength of your forearm muscles to improve your grip strength through specific resistance training exercises. Use a variety of dumbbell, kettlebell and barbell exercises that force you to grip the bar and use the forearm muscles to move the weight.
Similar to hand size, bodyweight is directly correlated to grip strength. As a general rule, someone with a higher bodyweight has greater grip strength than someone who is skinny and lightweight. However, small changes to your bodyweight won’t significantly change grip strength.
Your level of dexterity is another physiological factor of grip strength. For most people, your dominant hand -- or the hand preferred for the majority of daily activities -- is the hand with the most grip strength. For example, a left-handed individual will have the greatest strength level in the left hand.
- Singapore Medical Association; Grip Strength: Effect of Hand Dominance; 2002
- Top End Sports: Handgrip Strength Test
- National Center for Biotechnology Information; Influence of Psychological Factors on Grip Strength; J. Watson and D. Ring; December 2008
- Wolters Kluwer Health; For Wrestlers, 'Weight Cutting' Has Psychological Effects; April 2011
- The CrossFit Journal; What is Fitness?; Greg Glassman; October 2002
- Bodybuilding.com; Get to Grips with Hand Strength; David Robson