Do you want to objectively measure and test your grip strength? Here are the steps:
1. Purchase a handgrip dynamometer. A handgrip dynamometer is a small device with a squeezing lever that measures a person’s grip force in pounds. Handgrip dynamometers are used not only in sports medicine, but also in conventional medicine to rule out diseases of the joints and muscles.
Should you decide to purchase one for your personal use, you can start measuring your progress when you start grip strength training exercises. Make sure that you have your handgrip dynamometer calibrated before using it, or try to find one that has been pre-calibrated before it was sold.
2. To begin the hand grip strength test, hold the dynamometer up and grip the handle. The lower handle of the dynamometer should be positioned near the muscular base of the thumb, an inch or so from the top line of the wrist. The squeezing handle should be pulled down by all four fingers.
When you are ready, give the upper handle the squeeze of a lifetime and once you are able to bring down the handle, hold your squeeze for at least five seconds. Five seconds is usually the minimum time needed for a handgrip dynamometer to compute the grip strength of a person.
3. To get a more accurate result, avoid moving about when squeezing the handle. Your arm should be as stationary as possible when you are using the dynamometer. If you are having a tough time squeezing the handle, place your elbow on top of the table to stabilize the arm and try again.
We highly recommend that you fix your arm’s position and your body’s posture before trying a dynamometer, because the most accurate results are gained when a person is able to exert the highest grip pressure he can manage.
In short, your next attempts will be weaker because you’ve already exerted a lot of muscular energy on the first attempt. If you feel that the first test wasn’t accurate because you moved about, rest for a few minutes before trying again. This way, your hand will be able to recover, and you will again be able to exert maximum force when squeezing the dynamometer.
4. Record your results as you continue training your grip. Here are some grip strength values for both men and women:
88 pounds – needs improvement
105 pounds – average grip strength
141 pounds or more – exceptional grip strength
20 pounds – needs improvement
57 pounds – average grip strength
84 pounds – exceptional grip strength
As you can see, the grip strength of adult males and females is very different. A score of 84 pounds is already exceptional for females whereas a similar score would mean that a man has a very weak grip.
Train according to your score, and exert effort to break any plateaus you might encounter along the way. It’s important that you perform grip strength test to measure your progress effectively because this will give you the proper motivation to continue training.