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5.20.2012

A Quick Test Will Change Strength

A Quick Test Will Change Strength                                                                                               

dynoThe Graham-Desaguliers dynamometer was developed in London in 1763 to measure human muscular force.  The goal was to test by isolating the muscles of the hand so that there was no false mechanical advantage imparted by other muscular groups.

Charles O. Bechtol, M.D. introduced the Jamar Hand Dynamometer in 1954 with his paper titled, ‘Grip Test’.  Dr. Bechtol observed that his patients presented a 5-10% difference between their dominant and non-dominant hands.  This became the 10% rule that most people nationally would subscribe to.  People readily accepted the dominant hand was approximately 10% stronger.  Living in a right handed world with most tools and appliances designed for the ‘righty’, it tended to make sense.

jamarWith years of studying hand strength there is variation in percentages from study to study, it has been concluded that the dominant hand is significantly stronger in untrained right handed people, but there is not a significant difference in grip between the appendages of left handed people.

Grip strength is a predictor of overall strength and by the same token increasing grip strength will quickly change an athlete’s overall power.  One of the first and easiest ways to evoke change in a population of athletes is to test hand strength and make sure there are no deficits.  The truth is that you will always find hand strength disparities with populations of young athletes.  Deficits also show up post-season, especially in athletes who have incurred hand or upper extremity injuries.

Pendulum Grip Machine

The Pendulum Gripper Gets the Hands Strong

Test your athletes left and right hand strength on a grip machine.  Start with the left hand, choose a weight that the athlete can achieve 15 perfect reps with and no more even with the greatest effort.  Then using the right hand and the same weight compare repetitions.   If you find one hand is stronger than the other, try the following workout.

A man about to use a Pendulum Grip Machine

Example of a workout:

1st Set …Left hand 15 reps, Right hand 20 reps…… Imbalanced

2nd Set…Left hand 10 reps, Right hand 10 reps

In this set the athlete was able to achieve 10 reps with the left hand in an all-out effort so; he only did 10 reps with the right even though he could do more.

3rd Set…Left hand 6 reps, Right hand 6 reps

On the 3rd set, in this example the athlete was only able to achieve 6 reps with the Left hand and then the exercise was continued to momentary muscular failure by forcing repetitions.  On the Right hand the athlete stops the exercise after 6 reps.

After several weeks an athlete’s hands will become even, once accomplished, assume a training program with both hands.  After about 20 days, once again check hand strength.  It is possible the athlete may once again show the same disparity, but to a lesser extent . Correct the uneveness or resume normal 2 hand gripping.

Are there other ways to approach this malady?  YES, but this is one way to quickly change and correct hand strength….Get Strong.

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