Are you worried because your dominant hand’s grip is weaker than that of your non-dominant hand?

So suppose you’re right-handed, but your left grip is actually stronger. Don’t jump to the conclusion that this means you have some neurological disease.

Yes, it seems that the grip of your dominant hand (if you’re right-handed) should be stronger than that of your left hand, and vice versa for left-handed individuals.

I’m a fitness expert but also a very observant person. I’m right-handed, and I couldn’t quite understand why it was that my left hand seemed to have a stronger grip with a grip-strengthening gadget when compared to my right hand.

My right hand should have been the stronger one. The gadget has five hooks: one for the thumb and four above it for the fingers.

The hooks are attached to springs, and you fit your fingers in all five hooks and try to pull your fingers towards a center point.

I was wondering if I was imagining that this seemed easier with my non-dominant hand.

However, when I deadlift a barbell … whenever I begin losing my grip … it’s always that of my left hand.

Well, I finally solved the riddle: two explanations.

Here is the first: For some reason, every time I open a very tight jar lid, it’s with my left hand, while my right (dominant) hand holds the jar.

I unscrew jar lids often enough with my left hand (including doing this for my mother — she buys jars of various things that can be quite tight) to have elicited a training effect.

My left hand, over time, has become stronger in certain gripping venues than my dominant hand.

Unscrewing tight jar lids certainly doesn’t toughen up the hands for deadlifting, but using my left hand for opening jars has made it stronger than my right as far as the spring-tension gadget.

I also find that with really tough jar lids … I fight these out with my left hand first— and if I don’t succeed, I try it with the right — and if I still don’t succeed, I go back to the left (which succeeds at this point).

So thus, the non-dominant hand has, over time, gotten much more of a gripping workout.

Now why have I always used my non-dominant hand to unscrew stubborn jar lids?

I’m assuming it’s because my right hand — being the dominant one — is better at holding the jar steady and leveraging it as I apply force to it. Sometimes my right hand really has to be like a vice on the jar.

In short, both hands must work hard at unscrewing a very tight jar lid — Newton’s Third Law: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

So if you’ve been worried that your dominant hand isn’t as strong in certain things as is your non-dominant hand … take some inventory of your daily, weekly or occasional habits as far as the use of your hands.

You just might discover that you’ve been using the “weaker” grip in tasks where it actually excels — producing a training effect.

The Second Explanation

Do you usually use your non-dominant hand to carry around weight plates at the gym?

Some people do this to make up for a stronger dominant arm, and in the process, their non-dominant hand gains a stronger grip.

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified by the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained clients of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health. 



Top image: Shutterstock/LI Cook