All about the Hand Grip Test

All About The Hand Grip Test

For most people, they start to lose their hand-grip strength as they age. It starts slowly and as the body starts going through the aging process, the hand loses the power to grip things. By maintaining a decent hand-grip strength level, elderly individuals can easily do their day-to-day tasks and even be able to live longer.

In the late 2000, various researches were conducted and it was found out that the readings of the lower-hand grip are the reliable predictor for displaying the increasing mortality rate. Frankly, by testing your hand-grip strength, you can easily monitor the decline of your strength and will even assist you in getting the indication of the risk.

Do you know that the grip strength is the basic measure for finding out how strong the muscles of your hands, forearms and wrist are? Basically, these muscles groups as a whole can assist you in holding on to the things you want and make it stable (just like a dumbbell or any kind of weight bar). Sometimes the grip strength can be a bit underappreciated, and most importantly, it is necessary in everyday life.

For example, if you want to open a can or jar, having a good grip strength is necessary and will assist you in accomplishing this task. For testing the grip strength, you can either utilize a home test using a bathroom scale or a dynamometer. Overtime, you will easily be able to improve your grip strength.

Test Procedures Involved

Firstly, you need to do a series of squeezes on the dynamometer at least for 30 to 40 seconds of rest among the squeezes for getting optimal recovery. Make sure you are doing this test in a standing position, with the elbows bent at 90 degrees to the side, but it must not be against the body. Also, the dynamometer needs to be grabbed with a neutral grip using your thumb and pointing it upwards.

Always make sure that you are taking deep breath, and as you are breathing out, squeeze the dynamometer as hard as you can for somewhat 10 to 15 seconds. Here, you really need to record the highest value that is easily reached. Keep in mind that you need to do at least three trials with each hand. And the highest value that you get for each hand will be your best score.

Average Results Involved

Keep in mind that your test score will be specific to your gender as well as age. In addition, the measurement of the hand-grip strength is simply based on the dominant hand that you have. If there is any kind of discrepancy of more than 5 kg among the two hand signals, then it simply means that you really need to see a specialist.

Basically, on an average, a thirty or thirty-five male will show about 40.25 kg of pressure while gripping the dynamometer, and in case of women, it is normally 21 kg of force when they use their dominant hand. With regard to men whose age is 50 on an average will do about 33 kg and for women who are 50, it is on average 17.5 kg.

Facts To Consider

Now if the values are simply below the average, then it is high time that you consult your doctor or physician regarding the potential cause involved in the low values and you need to find out if incorporating weight training is appropriate.

Exercises using resistance training will utilize free weight like the dumbbells and barbell. Most importantly, these will need one to use the muscles present in the forearm and wrist so that you can activate to hold on the weight. Basically, these kind of exercise will easily improve your grip strength and be one of the best benefits of ensuring that you are training the remaining muscles of your body.

Grip Strength Testing With Handgrip Dynamometer

1) Check Out For A Handgrip Dynamometer

One of the most accurate and best (i.e. the conventional) method to test your grip strength is by using the handgrip dynamometer. You can either purchase it or borrow from any individual who has it.

  • The best place to get a dynamometer is from your local fitness center or local gym. There are various gyms that have various kinds of tools for measuring the progress and one of the common devices is the dynamometer.
  • Now if your gym doesn’t have one, then you really need to check out for it online or any sporting or fitness goods store so that you can purchase from them. You can use it continuously and even track the grip strength overtime.

2) Make Sure To Position Your Hand And Arm Correctly

Even though using a handgrip dynamometer is easy, it is necessary that you position your hand and arm in a correct manner to get the proper results.

  • Firstly, you need to start by holding the dynamometer in one hand, but you need to test your both hands, and it needs to be done one at a time.
  • Most importantly, bend the arm that is getting tested at 90 degree angle right at your elbow.
  • The upper arm must be next to your body along with your forearm which is pointing right away from the body.
  • The base of the dynamometer needs to be rested on the heel of the hand (i.e you can eight place it at the muscle right under your thumb). Also, the four fingers need to rest at the lever of the dynamometer.

3) Squeeze Dynamometer With Maximum Force

For getting the correct reading, you must squeeze the dynamometer with a good amount of force as well as effort that you have. Surely, this will provide you with maximum grip strength.

  • Now when your hand and arm are positioned in the correct manner, you need to squeeze the dynamometer as much hard as you can.
  • Make sure that you are squeezing for minimum of 5-6 seconds. You can use a stopwatch or make your friend to keep track of the time of 5 seconds for you.
  • Also, you shouldn’t move any other body part while you are squeezing as this will easily influence the reading of the dynamometer.
  • For getting the correct results, it is better if you take about average of three tests.

4) Analyzing Results

Once you have performed the test on each hand and got the average of the results, then you can set the score for yourself to view where you stand in terms of the standard results. Now for men, the typical griping strength reading needs to be somewhat at 105 and above. If you have a score of 105, it means that you have an average grip strength, which is satisfactory and great.

For women, the typical grip strength needs to be somewhat at 57. And this is the average one and anything above it is quite excellent and commendable. Now if your score is simply below average, then you can take various steps to improvise.

For males, if the grip strength is somewhat below 105, then it simply means that you are just below average and also that your grip strength is very less. In such case, you really need to add a little bit of more exercises to assist in strengthening your grip. If you are a women and you grip strength is somewhat below 57, then it simply means that your score is just below average. So, you really need to practice hard, to improvise your score.

Testing Grip Strength Using A Scale

The following are the steps involved –

1) Getting The Correct Equipment

Sometimes you might not get the right or the required handgrip dynamometer, however, you can still test your grip strength right at the gym or home. By using certain household items, you can get the accurate reading for your grip strength.

  • First you must make sure that all the right equipment are there at your disposal. Basically, you will need a bathroom scale, hanging board or pull-up bar, and a stopwatch.
  • Next, you need to make sure that you position your scale right under the board or pull-up bar. One thing that you need to keep in mind that it needs to be high enough for your arms to be fully extended right above your head.
  • Your might even want to test your grip strength for somewhat five seconds time period. Yes, for this you need to set your stopwatch to about five seconds or get your friend to monitor using their watch.
  • For getting in the correct position, you must first stand on the scale and then put your hands on the board or pull-up bar. Always keep an eye on the scale so that your weight reading is correct.

2) Pulling The Bar With Maximal Effort

For testing your grip strength and that too using a bathroom scale, you might want to view or check out how much weight you can easily pull, just by using your hands.

  • Here, all you have to do is stand with your flat feet right on the scale, and then squeeze your hands right around the pull-up bar or just at the side of the hand board.
  • You mustn’t bend your wrist, elbows, or knees. The entire body besides the hand should be in a stable position. The aim here must be to lift as much as your body weight right off the scale, using the strength of your hands.
  • Pull or squeeze the bar and that too as much hard as you can using your hands. You can have your friend to take record of the weight, that is shown on the scale. It will be simply less than the actual weight of the body.
  • Now again, it is highly recommended to get the average of the reading that you have. Make sure you do about four to five test and then take the average of the results you have.

3) Calculating Grip Strength

So, once the current weight has been recorded, then you need to take the average of the tests, for calculating the strength. For that you need to follow this basic equation –

Your grip strength measured in pounds = the current weight of yours – your weight while gripping the bar.

Now for example, if it is 180 pounds (i.e the current weight) – eighty pounds while gripping the bar which will be equal to the 100 pounds that you have grip strength.

Improving Grip Strength

For increasing your grip strength, you must try using exercises like the hand extensions which can be easily implemented into your regular exercise routine. Frankly, this kind of exercise is not a normal grip exercise, it will easily strengthen the muscles, thereby providing the strong grip that you need.

  • First, you have the option to use a thick rubber band (or various rubber bands) or you might try to get some professional tools which can easily assist in doing this exercise.
  • For using the rubber bands, you need to pull out the rubber band down and over your hand so that it is somewhat resting right at the base of your fingers.
  • Now in a controlled and slow way, you must spread your thumbs and fingers out right from your palm. Then you should try to push it right against the rubber band.
  • Next hold your thumbs and fingers as long as you can and that too against the pressure of the rubber band. Try to repeat this procedure few times on each of the hand.


In short, it is easy to improve your hand grip. All you need is the correct exercise regime and the best methods or assistance. The above given tips are quite handy and you might find it easy to follow. Sometimes it is better if you consult your doctor or physician for getting more detailed exercises which aren’t discussed in the article.


Saravavan Nadarajan (Vanan)

Vanan, fitness expert and leader at EzFit Singapore, specializes in holistic training—home-based, boot camps, and corporate fitness—with over a decade of industry experience.

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