Grip strength and forearm circumference in a healthy population

J Hand Surg Eur Vol. 2007 Apr;32(2):203-9. doi: 10.1016/J.JHSB.2006.11.003. Epub 2007 Jan 2.


Two hundred and fifty subjects were recruited. Age, sex, hand preference and anthropometric measurements were recorded for each subject. Grip strength was measured using a Jamar hydraulic dynamometer. Multiple regression analyses were performed. One hundred and seventy two subjects were men and 78 were women. Twenty-six subjects were left hand dominant. Hand grip strength was greatest for the 35 to 44 year old group for both sexes. Grip strength was consistently greater for men than women. Contralateral grip strength predicted maximum grip strength for both sexes. Forearm circumference predicted maximum hand grip strength for men. Although there was a large range of forearm circumferences in the population, there was little difference between sides for each subject (100% less than 2 cm). The demonstrated relationships between: (i) contralateral grip strengths and (ii) grip strength and forearm circumference lead us to suggest that for certain pathologies, a difference in forearm circumference greater than 2 cm may lend credence to a measurement of diminished grip strength.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Anthropometry
  • Female
  • Forearm / anatomy & histology*
  • Functional Laterality
  • Hand Strength*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Strength Dynamometer
  • Occupations
  • Regression Analysis
  • Sex Factors