The Bigger the Hand, the Bigger the Difference? Implications for Testing Strength With 2 Popular Handgrip Dynamometers

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year online subscription

USD  $77.00

1 year online subscription

USD  $103.00

Student 2 year online subscription

USD  $147.00

2 year online subscription

USD  $196.00

Context: Studies developed the frail elderly handgrip strength (HGS) diagnostic criteria using multiple types of handgrip dynamometers. If different handgrip dynamometers report different values, then this would have the potential to misclassify people into the wrong diagnostic category. Objective: To examine the characteristics of HGS measured by 2 standard handgrip dynamometers and to investigate the influence of hand size on HGS. Setting: University research laboratory. Participants: A total of 87 young and middle-aged adults between the ages of 20 and 60 years participated in this study. Main Outcome Measures: Standard methods of HGS measurements were used for hydraulic and Smedley spring-type dynamometers, although the participants were instructed to maintain an upright standing position in both tests. Results: Test–retest reliability of hydraulic and Smedley dynamometers provided comparable results to that observed with previous studies. However, the difference in HGS between the 2 dynamometers (Hydraulic–Smedley difference) was positively associated (r = .670, P < .001) with the mean of the 2 dynamometers. The participants who had relatively low HGS (at least <35 kg) produced similar HGS values when the 2 dynamometers were compared, whereas persons who had relatively higher HGS (at least >45 kg) produced greater strength values with the hydraulic compared with the Smedley. The hand and palm lengths were weakly correlated (r = .349 and r = .358, respectively, both Ps < .001) with the difference in HGS between the 2 dynamometers. Conclusions: Test–retest reliability of hydraulic and Smedley dynamometers provides comparable results to previous studies. However, the difference in HGS between the 2 dynamometers was positively associated with the mean of the 2 dynamometers. This Hydraulic–Smedley difference would not affect persons who have relatively low HGS (at least <35 kg), while when HGS is relatively high, the comparison between dynamometers should be done with caution.

Abe, Loenneke, and Loftin are with the Department of Health, Exercise Science, and Recreation Management, The University of Mississippi, University, MS, USA. Thiebaud is with the Department of Kinesiology, Texas Wesleyan University, Fort Worth, TX, USA.

Abe (t12abe@gmail.com) is corresponding author.
  • 1.

    Cruz-Jentoft AJ, Baeyens JP, Bauer JM, et al. Sarcopenia: European consensus on definition and diagnosis: report of the European Working Group on Sarcopenia in older people. Age Ageing. 2010;39:412423. PubMed ID: 20392703 doi:10.1093/ageing/afq034

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2.

    Chen L-K, Liu LK, Woo J, et al. Sarcopenia in Asia: consensus report of the Asian Working Group for Sarcopenia. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2014;15:95101. 24461239 doi:10.1016/j.jamda.2013.11.025

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 3.

    Leong DP, Teo KK, Rangarajan S, et al. Prognostic value of grip strength: findings from the prospective urban rural epidemiology (PURE) study. Lancet. 2015;386:266273. PubMed ID: 25982160 doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(14)62000-6

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 4.

    Rantanen T, Guralnik JM, Foley D, et al. Midlife hand grip strength as a predictor of old age disability. JAMA. 1999;281:558560. PubMed ID: 10022113 doi:10.1001/jama.281.6.558

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5.

    Lauretani F, Russo CR, Bandinelli S, et al. Age-associated changes in skeletal muscle and their effect on mobility: an operational diagnosis of sarcopenia. J Appl Physiol. 2003;95:18511860. PubMed ID: 14555665 doi:10.1152/japplphysiol.00246.2003

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6.

    Tanimoto Y, Watanabe M, Sun W, et al. Association between sarcopenia and higher-level functional capacity in daily living in community-dwelling elderly subjects in Japan. Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2012;55:913. PubMed ID: 22795189 doi:10.1016/j.archger.2012.06.015

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7.

    Robert HC, Denison HJ, Martin HJ, et al. A review of the measurement of grip strength in clinical and epidemiological studies: towards a standardized approach. Age Ageing. 2011;40:423429. doi:10.1093/ageing/afr051

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 8.

    Tveter AT, Dagfinrud H, Moseng T, Holm I. Health-related physical fitness measures: reference values and reference equations for use in clinical practice. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 2014;95:13661373. PubMed ID: 24607837 doi:10.1016/j.apmr.2014.02.016

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 9.

    Luna-Heredia E, Martin-Pena G, Ruiz-Galiana J. Handgrip dynamometry in healthy adults. Clin Nutr. 2005;24:250258. PubMed ID: 15784486 doi:10.1016/j.clnu.2004.10.007

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 10.

    Mathiowetz V, Weber K, Volland G, Kashman N. Reliability and validity of grip and pinch strength evaluations. J Hand Surg Am. 1984;9:222226. PubMed ID: 6715829 doi:10.1016/S0363-5023(84)80146-X

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 11.

    Fransson C, Winkel J. Hand strength: the influence of grip span and grip type. Ergonomics. 1991;34:881892. PubMed ID: 1915253 doi:10.1080/00140139108964832

  • 12.

    Lee WJ, Liu LK, Peng LN, Lin MH, Chen LK, ILAS Research Group. Comparison of sarcopenia defined by IWGS and EWGSOP criteria among older people: results from the I-Lan longitudinal aging study. J Am Med Dir Assoc. 2013;14:528e1528e7.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 13.

    Seino S, Shinkai S, Fujiwara Y, et al. Reference values and age and sex differences in physical performance measures for community-dwelling older Japanese: a pooled analysis of six cohort studies. PLoS ONE. 2014;9:e99487. PubMed ID: 24923425 doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0099487

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 14.

    Abe T, Counts BR, Barnett BE, Dankel SJ, Lee K, Loenneke JP. Associations between handgrip strength and ultrasound-measured muscle thickness of the hand and forearm in young men and women. Ultrasound Med Biol. 2015;41:21252130. PubMed ID: 25959055 doi:10.1016/j.ultrasmedbio.2015.04.004

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 15.

    Abe T, Thiebaud RS, Loenneke JP. Age-related change in handgrip strength in men and women: is muscle quality a contributing factor? Age. 2016;38:28. doi:10.1007/s11357-016-9891-4

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 16.

    Abe T, Loenneke JP. Handgrip strength dominance is associated with difference in forearm muscle size. J Phys Ther Sci. 2015;27:21472149. PubMed ID: 26311942 doi:10.1589/jpts.27.2147

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 17.

    Weir JP. Quantifying test-retest reliability using the intraclass correlation coefficient and the SEM. J Strength Cond Res. 2005;19:231240. PubMed ID: 15705040

    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 18.

    Mathiowetz V. Comparison of Rolyan and Jamar dynamometers for measuring grip strength. Occup Ther Int. 2002;9:201209. PubMed ID: 12374997 doi:10.1002/oti.165

  • 19.

    Shechtman O, Gestewitz L, Kimble C. Reliability and validity of the DynEx dynamometer. J Hand Ther. 2005;18:339347. PubMed ID: 16059855 doi:10.1197/j.jht.2005.04.002

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 20.

    Clerke AM, Clerke JP, Adams RD. Effects of hand shape on maximal isometric grip strength and reliability in teenagers. J Hand Ther. 2005;18:1929. PubMed ID: 15674783 doi:10.1197/j.jht.2004.10.007

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 21.

    Bellace JV, Healy D, Besser MP, Byron T, Hohman L. Validity of the Dexter evaluation system’s Jamar dynamometer attachment for assessment of hand grip strength in a normal population. J Hand Ther. 2000;13:4651. PubMed ID: 10718222 doi:10.1016/S0894-1130(00)80052-6

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 22.

    Mathiowetz V, Vizenor L, Melander D. Comparison of Baseline instruments to the Jamar dynamometer and the B&L engineering pinch gauge. Occup Ther J Res. 2000;20:147162. doi:10.1177/153944920002000301

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 23.

    Amaral JF, Mancini M, Novo JM Jr. Comparison of three hand dynamometers in relation to the accuracy and precision of the measurements. Braz J Phys Ther. 2012;16:216224. PubMed ID: 22801514 doi:10.1590/S1413-35552012000300007

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 876 571 50
Full Text Views 16 4 1
PDF Downloads 11 5 1