Grip strength dynamometers are useful for testing hand grip strength in a quick and easy way. There is plenty of information as to why grip strength measurement is important.
Below you can find the norm values provided for the Takei Handgrip Dynamometer which is produced in Japan. This device is useful for determining grip strength values for a whole range of ages and monitoring improvements with strength training and during rehabilitation.
Why use grip dynamometers?
Handgrip dynamometers are useful for measuring the maximum isometric strength of the hand and forearm muscles. They are also used for testing hand grip strength of athletes involved in strength training programmes or for participants in sports where the hands play a crucial role when throwing, catching or lifting like gymnasts, tennis, golf and rock climbers for example.
There are many methods for measuring handgrip strength and there is a broad range of equipment available on the market.
The first of which was a handgrip dynamometer designed by Edme Regnier (Regnier 1807). Since that time, there have been many different dynamometer designs that have been used to determine grip strength including our personal favourite, the Takei grip dynamometer.
How to perform a test
- The dynamometer handle is usually adjusted (if possible) to fit the hand or set at the same setting for everyone. When using the Takei dynamometer start by holding the instrument in the testing hand, turn the dial to adjust the starting point until the second joint of your forefinger is bent through 90 degrees. Repeat the protocol again when retesting the same or another arm. The strength of the left and right hand often varies, so the grip test should be conducted on the same side, on the dominant side, or done on both sides and averaged. We recommend 3 or more measurements to determine a good score.
- If you are using a digital dynamometer such as the Takei 5401 then it's possible to continue measurements with the left then right hands for a total of 4 measurements. After which the mean value of the highest values of force is indicated by flashing after 4 seconds. To simply reset the device after each reading rather than turn the central disk as with the analogue device, just press the ON/C button to clear the device.
- Before each measurement turn the center dial gently in the direction of the arrow until the indicator is set to zero "0". The digital version just needs the ON/C button to be pressed. Don't do this if you want the mean value readings, just move from hand to hand.
- When you are ready to take a measurement stand upright and relaxed, extend your arms downwards and grip the dynamometer with your hand and exert full force without letting your arm touch your body during the measurement. In order to get the best possible reading try to isolate the hand and forearm muscle. You can do this by not waving the dynamometer about during measurement.
- After the measurement has been taken read the value displayed on the dynamometer and record it then turn the pulley to set the indicator to zero and repeat the measurement once again.
Hand grip test data
"Average values of new physical strength for the Japanese II."
"Physical strength average value study society, Tokyo Metropolitan University."
Results are often different between male and females and between left and right, your dominant and non-dominant hands. There is also an age-related factor to consider as grip strength often weakens with increased age. However, this is not always the case.
The results can also be affected by the position of the wrist, elbow and shoulder, so these should be standardised.
To wrap up, decide on a dynamometer that best meets your requirements for testing. We have focused on the Takei grip dynamometers today for this post, we know they are accurate and reliable and the choice of many professional sports clubs, academic institutions and the national health service. However, there are other options. If you are interested take a look at Jamar and Camry.
Anther important consideration when deciding whether to choose an analogue or digital display and when data recording is of particular interest, it is worth noting that the digital devices can track mean values for grip strength which can be useful when taking multiple readings.