What is normal grip strength? Grip strength can be a useful indicator and evaluator of a patient’s overall health. All you need is a hand dynamometer and the hand grip strength norm tables below.
Grip strength averages vary due to a number of factors: such as age and gender. It’s important to compare your the user's hand strength to established norm values for the same demographic.
See grip strength norm tables below for full grip strength data broken out by age, gender, and unit of measure (Lbs and/or Kg).
Why Measure Grip Strength?
Using established grip strength norm values is extremely useful in rehabilitation when establishing a baseline of strength, creating rehabilitation regimens and tracking improvements with strength training and during rehabilitation. Hand Held Dynamometers are reliable and accurate tools for testing a patient’s hand grip strength.
Handgrip Testing Protocols
Because hand grip strength testing results can vary when different protocols are used, it’s important to have established testing protocols to ensure accuracy and easily repeatable results.
For example, the hand grip dynamometer handle should ideally be adjusted to fit the patient’s hand or if that’s not possible, the handle should be set at the same setting for everyone.
When retesting, the same handle setting should be used, even if the strength of the right or left hand varies. Also, it’s important to perform multiple tests in order to get the maximum score.
Differences in Hand Grip Strength Norms by Age and Gender
When testing for hand grip strength, it is expected that results will differ for the following reasons:
- Male and females
- Left and right (dominant and non-dominant) hands
Keep in mind, grip strength test results can also be affected by the position of the wrist, elbow and shoulder, so these should be standardized and adequate bracing and/or support should be used when necessary.
The most famous study on the subject, Grip and Pinch Strength: Normative data for adults.
Here are the normative tables from the study.
Normative Strength Tables from Mathiowetz Study
Table 1: Characteristics of Subjects: Age, Sex, and Hand Dominance
Table 2: Performance of All Subjects an Grip Strength (pounds)
Fig 3--Frequency polygons for male and female, right-grip strength scores.
Table 3: Average Performance of All Subjects on Tip Pinch (pounds)
Table 4: Average Performance Of All Subjects and Key Pinch (pounds)
Table 5: Average Performance of All Subjects on Palmar Pinch (pound)
Table 6: Correlation Coefficients for All Subjects
Table 7: Comparison of Right Hand-Dominant and Left Hand Dominant Subjects
Grip Strength Ratings for Males (in kg or lbs)
Grip Strength Ratings for Females (in kg or lbs)
Once a clinic has established grip strength protocols and understand the use of the norm tables, the question turns towards what handgrip strength dynamometer to use for testing?
The Best Hand Grip Strength Dynamometers
This hand grip dynamometer can be used alone or with the Commander Echo Testing Console (sold separately). The main benefits of the J-Tech Commander Echo MMT system are that it can perform industry accepted 5-position, rapid exchange and sustained grip tests, while automatically storing data for up to 20 tests in the console to help streamline patient charting in high volume clinics.
Functional Capacity Testing: For clinics and evaluations looking to perform grip strength testing as part of functional capacity evaluations, the Commander GripTrack dynamometer system is the perfect choice to provide efficient and reliable grip strength testing.
The Commander dynamometer meets industry standards and can provide grip testing results using established 5-position grip and rapid exchange grip (REG). The Commander GripTrack provides practitioners a reliable tool for identifying strength deficits, and can be used as part of a functional capacity evaluation to determine voluntary maximal effort.
What’s more, the JTech Commander Griptrack can record and display data for up to 25 tests, making it a great choice for multiple-person testing situations.
Manual Muscle Tester and Grip Strength Dynamometer Combination Device
Combination devices are great for any clinician or practitioner who needs to perform a full-strength evaluation. Baseline created the LiTE dynamometer to give practitioners the ability to measure grip strength or take manual muscle testing readings by attaching an easy-to-use MMT conversion kit.
Further, the Baseline LiTE MMT Combo features an ergonomic design with an available dual-grip handle which can be used during testing to stabilize the dynamometer during the testing procedure to ensure the accuracy of results.
Handgrip Strength Training Tools for Hand Rehabilitation
When working with patients who would like to increase grip strength, it’s important to give patients options for home use.
Big Grip Hand Exerciser: An easy to use tool for patients is the Big Grip hand exerciser which can be used to facilitate hand flexion and improve grip strength. With a simple design, the grip exercisers are simple to use and are available in four different resistance levels to accommodate patients of varying strength levels and can be upgraded as grip strength improves.
Whether assessing grip strength as part of a hand injury evaluation or assessing overall health, hand grip dynamometers are an important tool to use to complete a full evaluation and to track patient progress. With the right hand grip dynamometers, practitioners can get a full picture of a patient’s strength, deficits and create a successful treatment plan.