Skip to 0 minutes and 8 secondsSo Mr. Kenna, the idea of this is to measure how strong your grip is, so what I want to do is ask you to squeeze this handle as hard as you can, and we're going to do it three times on each hand, switching between hands each time. Yes, yeah, OK. And just to let you know to keep your arm at about 90 degrees. Yep. And try not to let your elbow swing out. OK. Very good. So I'll just tell you when we're ready. And start. That's it. Squeeze as hard as you can. Well done. OK. So I'll make note of that. And we'll do the other hand. So again, 90 degrees. And squeeze as hard as you can. Excellent.

Skip to 0 minutes and 54 secondsSo we'll just take a little break before we go back to the other hand. So we're ready now to test again the right hand. Yep.

Skip to 1 minute and 5 secondsExcellent. And we'll test the left hand again.

Skip to 1 minute and 12 secondsSqueeze as hard as you can. Well done. Excellent. And the last time, we'll test the right hand. Again, keeping it 90 degrees. And the forearm is unsupported. Yes, indeed. Yep. And last time. Squeeze as hard as you can. We can see the knuckles are blanching. Excellent. Thanks very much. You're welcome.

Measuring grip strength

As we have examined in Step 1.12, there is strong evidence supporting the health benefits of muscular fitness. Muscular fitness is associated with fewer cardiovascular disease events, a lower risk of developing functional limitations and non fatal diseases, improved blood glucose levels, improved body composition, improved insulin sensitivity, improved blood pressure, and improved bone mass.

One of the most common types of muscle tests is hand grip. This has been shown to be associated with mortality, and there are a few different ways that it can be measured (Bohannon, 2015). What is important is that you have a consistent method.

In this video, Cuisle is using a hand grip dynamometer to test Mr Kenna’s hand grip strength.

Instructions for measuring hand grip strength using a dynamometer

  • First ensure that the patient is comfortable and that the handgrip size is suitable. The handgrip size will depend on the hand size of your patient. Adjust the handgrip size to a comfortable position.
  • The elbow should be at 90 degrees and remain unsupported.
  • The forearm should be neutral.
  • Ask the patient to squeeze as hard as they can in one brief maximal contraction.
  • At least three trials are needed for each hand with one minute rest between trials.
  • The highest score is the patient’s static strength or maximum voluntary isometric contraction.
  • Signs of physical effort include blanching of the knuckles, recruitment of muscles in the arms, and ‘elbow winging’ during muscle contraction.

If you are measuring maximal strength the highest score is the patient’s static strength or maximum voluntary isometric contraction.

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This video is from the free online course:

Exercise Prescription for the Prevention and Treatment of Disease

Trinity College Dublin