Handgrip Dynamometers are instruments for measuring the maximum isometric strength of the hand and forearm muscles, used for testing handgrip strength of athletes involved in strength training, or participants in sports in which the hands are used for catching, throwing or lifting such as gymnasts, tennis players and rock climbers, and for tracking improvements with strength training and during rehabilitation.
There are many methods for measuring handgrip strength, and a wide range of equipment that is commercially available. The first handgrip dynamometer, the Régnier dynamometer, was invented and built by Edme Régnier (Régnier, 1807). Since then there have been many different dynamometer designs that have been used.
Calibration and Accuracy
As with all testing devices, it is important to have accurate and reliable results. There is a wide range of devices available for measuring hand grip strength, and both the accuracy and reliability would vary depending on the quality and design of the device, as well as the testing protocols used and how well these are enforced by the tester. See our description of the hand grip strength test, though be aware that this is only one example of many method for measuring forearm muscle strength. It is possible to calibrate some handgrip dynamometers by suspending a range of weights from the handle.
A good dynamometer would have an adjustable grip so that the size can be adjusted to fit the hand. There are also digital models which more accurately display the result, rather than relying on reading from a linear scale, and can save and compare results. There are different ways of recording force, there are dynamometers based on pneumatic, hydraulics (e.g. Jamar), steel springs (e.g. Smedley), and electronic strain gauge, and the recording dial can be digital or manual.
Hand Grip Testing Products
Here is a description of some of the more recently available dynamometers.
- Jamar Grip Dynamometer — hydraulic dynamometer
- Camry Electronic Handgrip Dynamometer — affordable digital handgrip dynamometer.
- Smedley — a commonly used spring dynamometer
- Budget — a very simple and usually inaccurate handgrip dynamometer available from China for under $10, with questionable accuracy and reliability.
- Pneumatic — a simple method of measuring grip strength. Even a sphygmomanometer - the device for testing blood pressure - can be adapted to measure gripping strength.
- Multichannel Computerized Strength Dynamometer — a computerized multi-channel dynamometer for measuring muscle strength around the body, including handgrip strength.
- Other brands include Baseline, DynEx, Lafayette, Tekdyne.
See the list of handgrip dynamometers to buy from Amazon.
- Regnier, J.B., Consideration sur la force musculaire, suivies de la description et de l'exposition chalcographique d'un nouvel instrument pour mesurer cette force, (Diss, Paris, 1807)
- procedure for testing handgrip strength
- grip strength norms
- Video examples of the Handgrip Strength Test
- There are some grip strength test results of athletes.
- List of other strength and power tests.
- Calibrating Handgrip Dynamometers
- Purchase handgrip dynamometers