How to measure grip strength
One of the easiest ways to measure grip strength is with the use of a handheld dynamometer. These small portable devices can return results in seconds. They need no training and are easy to use. In fact, some dynamometers do not ever require the need of an assistant, you can take measurements yourself.
Quality handgrip dynamometers such as Takei, measure grip strength in kilogrammes of force. Comparing to normative values is useful as is re-testing to track improvements.
Using a Dynamometer
Hold the device and adjust the grip, so the second joint on your forefinger is at 90 degrees.
Next, turn the centre dial to the left until the pointer that measures grip strength has reached zero. It’s important to remember to do this after each measurement.
Once you are ready to take a measurement, stand upright and relaxed with a straight arm by your side. Then apply full force to the grip handle of the dynamometer without allowing the device to touch the body. Isolate the hand and forearm muscles.
Once you can no longer produce any more force, take a look at the dial on the dynamometer and take note of the reading. The needle will remain at the measured point until you reset it, as explained earlier.
The dynamometer measures in kilogrammes of force. To take another measurement return the blue dial to zero by turning it to the left.
We recommend repeating the measurement steps 2 or 3 times to get the most reliable results.
As you can see, it’s that simple to measure grip strength in a few minutes.
We recently wrote a post with normative data based on research conducted by Takei in Japan. It’s worth a look to see how your grip strength looks compared to those of a similar age.
When setting the grip range to suit hand sizes, make sure that this doesn’t drop below about 4cm. We’ve found that this is the smallest diameter to return accurate results.
You may notice a black plastic cap on the top of the dynamometer, it has a small seal from the Takei factory. Under no circumstances should you turn or attempt to remove this cap. Doing so not only invalidates any warranty but could also reduce the accuracy of the device.
Takei dynamometers are popular with the NHS, Pro Sports Teams, Physio’s and Universities.
In the explanations above, we have used an analogue hand grip dynamometer which is reliable and easy to use.
But, if you would prefer a digital version of the above that comes with a few extra features then you’re in luck. The Digital Hand Grip Dynamometer uses two AA batteries and is also simple in operation. Another benefit of a digital dynamometer is to take measurements and get the mean value of force.