Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Hand FAQ


I had a fitness test at my doctor's office. They used a test of my grip strength to determine my overall strength. Is this an adequate test? I don't see how my grip strength tells anything about how strong my arms are.


Studies dating back to the early 1950s show a link between grip strength and overall arm strength. For most people handgrip strength shows a moderate correlation with the total strength of many other muscles of the body. If the grip is strong, the shoulders are also strong.

Handgrip strength is used as a measure of overall strength for several other reasons. It's safe and easy to measure using a handheld device called a dynamometer. This device is readily available in many health care, school, and gym settings. This makes strength testing using a grip test convenient.

Jeffrey E. Budoff, MD. The Prevalence of Rotator Cuff Weakness in Patients with Injured Hands. In The Journal of Hand Surgery. November 2004. Vol. 29A. No. 6. Pp. 1154-1159.

*Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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