Research Article
Issue Date: February 1996
Published Online: February 01, 1996
Updated: April 30, 2020
How Forearm Position Affects Grip Strength
Author Affiliations
  • Lorie Gage Richards, PhD, OTR, is Assistant Professor, University of Kansas Medical Center, Occupational Therapy Education Department, 3033 Robinson Hall, University of Kansas Medical Center, 3901 Rainbow Boulevard, Kansas City, Kansas 66160–7602
  • Bonni Olson, OTR, is Occupational Therapist, Samaritan Behavioral Health Center, Phoenix, Arizona
  • Pamela Palmiter-Thomas, PhD, is Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy, University of Health Sciences, Kansas City, Missouri
Article Information
Hand and Upper Extremity / Research
Research Article   |   February 01, 1996
How Forearm Position Affects Grip Strength
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, February 1996, Vol. 50, 133-138.
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, February 1996, Vol. 50, 133-138.
This content is PDF only. Please click on the PDF icon to access.

Objective. Several studies have indicated that changing body positions results in altered grip strengths. Although one might expect that grip strength would be influenced by the position of the forearm during gripping due to the biomechanical properties of the forearm and hand muscles, no investigations of this variable have been undertaken.

Method. This study examined the effect on grip strength of moving the forearm among supinated, neutral, and pronated positions while maintaining the standard position recommended by the American Society of Hand Therapists. The mean of three grip trials in each position was recorded for each of 106 subjects.

Results. Grips in forearm supination were the strongest, followed by grips in the neutral position. Grips in pronation were the weakest.

Conclusions. The changes in grip strength observed with variations in forearm position further support the necessity of a standard position for testing grip strength. The knowledge of how changes in body position affect the strength of the grip can be used to design environments and tools to maximize biomechanical abilities.