Measuring your grip strength is an excellent test of not just strength but overall health and wellbeing.
A simple grip strength test can help monitor athletic performance, ageing, full-body strength, muscle mass, body fat and even nutritional status.
In newborns, the natural grip reflex soon subsides, but grip strength continues to increase for the next two to three decades. After which grip strength starts to decrease, how rapidly this occurs is a good indicator of overall health and fitness.
What is Normal?
There is no normal, but rather a range of what would be considered normal grip strengths for each age group. Keep in mind that these normal values reflect a general population who don’t necessarily have higher levels of health and fitness. As a result, these so-called normal ranges may appear quite low when compared to a group of healthy and fit people of the same ages.
Studies have shown that grip strength in men and women between 20 and 70 years range from 47 to 33, and 30 to 20 pounds, respectively. Yet healthy and fit 65-year older men and women can reach over 100 and 80 pounds, respectively.
What is more critical is individualisation, i.e. monitoring your changes in grip strength over some time.
Monitoring for grip strength changes requires a baseline measurement of grip strength, by a physiotherapist, for example, followed by repeat measurements at specific intervals. Repeat measurements are an excellent objective way of determining in any interventions to improve grip strength have been successful.
Grip strength is an indication of:
Grip strength can be weakened by:
Way to improve grip strength:
Grip strength is a practical, easy way to monitor your health and fitness and improvements. If you would like to have a grip test performed and be provided with a programme to help improve your grip strength if required, please contact the clinic for an appointment on 01-2834303.
In good health,
Amaral CA, et al. Handgrip strength: Reference values for adults and elderly people of Rio Branco, Acre, Brazil. PLoS One. 2019; 14(1). doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0211452
Barrea L, et al. Association between Mediterranean diet and handgrip strength in older adult women. Clin Nutr. 2019;38(2). doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2018.03.012.
Dodds RM, et al. Grip strength across the Life Course: Normative Data from Twelve British Studies. PLoS One. 2014; 9(12). doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0113637
Martin JA, et al. Age and Grip Strength Predict Hand Dexterity in Adults. PLoS One. 2015; 10(2). doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0117598