Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Beverly Johnson


Hand Strength


This study investigated the effect of various shoulder and elbow positions on grip strength in 42 subjects. Both dominant and non-dominant upper extremities were tested using the Jamar dynamometer. The subjects were tested in the following positions while standing: 1) 90 degrees shoulder flexion and 90 degrees elbow flexion, 2) 90 degrees shoulder flexion and full elbow extension, 3) 90 degrees shoulder abduction and 90 degrees elbow flexion, and 4) 90 degrees shoulder abduction and full elbow extension. A repeated-measures ANOVA showed that shoulder and elbow position does significantly (p<.05) affect grip strength. A significant difference between genders was found for each position and hand dominance was significant (p<.05) for position 2. Both males and females were strongest with their shoulder in 90 degrees of flexion. The findings suggest that 90 degrees of shoulder flexion may be more of a position of function than 90 degrees of abduction. When measuring grip strength, position of testing and gender are two important variables to consider when trying to help patients attain their highest grip strength score.