What’s one of the best predictors of how well you are aging, which you’ve likely never heard about?
Curiously, it’s grip strength. What is grip strength anyway? It is a measure of your hand and arm strength.
While the strength of our grip may seem irrelevant, in study after study, grip strength has proven to be one of the best predictors of our overall strength and health.
The stronger your grip, the lower your risk of cardiovascular disease and the more likely you are to survive diseases like cancer, according to research.
Seemingly unrelated factors like brain health, depression, and nutritional status are also related to grip strength. As if that wasn’t enough, grip strength is also correlated with bone mineral density (think osteoporosis) and fracture risk.
How the heck is this possible?
Well, it’s not just about grip strength in and of itself. A strong grip requires a degree of muscular force, so grip strength is a measure of muscle mass throughout our body, especially as we get older and muscle mass starts to decline.
So essentially, grip strength is an overall indicator of how well your are retaining not just strength, but also mobility as you get older. Lower than normal grip strength has been linked to greater physical limitations and loss of freedom of movement.
In this series on Yoga for Healthy Aging, yoga teachers Julie Gudmestad, PT and Hope Fyfield, PT there will be a special focus on upper body strength and balance. Julie and Hope will show how improving grip strength isn’t just about training the strength of your hands. It’s about improving the overall strength, flexibility and alignment of your shoulders, arms, wrists and hands to lay the foundation for retaining balanced and healthy movement patterns.
Learn the best way to first enhance alignment awareness in order to safely strengthen shoulders, neck, hands and arms in your yoga practice.
This is a progressive yoga practice series, which will gradually introduce all the elements you need to develop a yoga practice approach that builds strength and balance in a holistic way.
What You Will Learn
Session 1: As Above So Below: Keys to Balancing the Alignment of the Head, Neck and Shoulders
Your posture alignment affects the overall strength and balance of your body as well as your grip strength. To retain balance and symmetry in the body, all strength and flexibility training must start with establishing good alignment throughout the body. In this session, you will learn how to establish optimal postural alignment between the head, neck, and shoulders, to lay a healthy foundation for balanced strength training.
With Hope Fyfield, E-RYT-500, PT
Session 2: Creating a Solid Foundation: Whole Body & Core Strengthening Made Fun
In this bonus session with yoga therapist Lynn Crimando, learn how to bring whole body strengthening into your yoga practice in a fun, entertaining – and dare we say relaxing? – way. Learn how to add a strength training element into your yoga practice in a way that motivates you and inspires you to keep going! With Lynn Crimando, C-IAYT
Session 3: Strength & Alignment Training for Your Hands, Wrists and Elbows
Yoga poses contain numerous opportunities to strengthen the hands, wrists and arms. But unfortunately, many people struggle with wrist issues or lack of strength, which make it difficult for them to do foundational poses that require weight bearing on the hands and arms.
In this class, expert yoga teacher Julie Gudmestad, PT will show how to improve alignment and basic movement patterns in the hands, wrists and arms. Learn how to reduce common strain patterns and lay a better foundation for upper body strength training. With Julie Gudmestad, E-RYT-500, PT
Session 4: Happy Shoulders: How to Improve Shoulder Flexibility and Strength
In our sedentary society, the shoulders are a common problem area for many people. In this session, learn techniques drawn from yoga and physical therapy to improve shoulder flexibility and strength to enjoy happy shoulders both on the mat and off. With Hope Fyfield, E-RYT-500, PT
Session 5: Holiday Stress Redux: TLC for Your Shoulders and Neck
Learn a yummy, relaxing practice to get rid of tension in the neck and shoulders – just in time to help reduce the stress around the holidays!
With Julie Gudmestad, E-RYT-500, PT
This course qualifies for 6 CEs with Yoga Alliance.