Handgrip strength and 1RM bench press performance: a novelapproach to evaluate upper body maximal strength

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther

Abstract

In the last few years, handgrip strength has been widely recognized as arelevant indicator of physical function, nutritional status and quality oflife in a clinical population. However, the scientific literature is stilllacking of knowledge regarding the use of this indicator within a generalhealthy and physically active population. The possibility to use thehandgrip strength as an indicative value of some specific physical qualities,such as the upper body maximal strength (expressed in terms of1RM bench press), can be considered an unexplored field and its developmentmight represent a relevant support for the strength and conditioningprofessionals. Therefore, we hypothesize that a significant associationmight be found between handgrip strength, body composition andupper body maximal strength and that this association might be used asa specific “performance predictor”. Fifteen healthy subjects (8 men / 7women; age 25.53 ± 7.14 yr;! body mass 65.58 ± 13.26 kg; height167±10 cm) without habitual intensive exercise participated in this pilotintervention. Body composition, handgrip strength and maximal bodyupper strength were evaluated. Subjects’ body composition was estimatedthrough a bioelectrical impedance analysis and resulted in a mean valueof 22.12 ± 8.64% of fat and 77.81 ± 8.5%1 of lean mass. Handgrip(HG) strength was estimated for both dominant and not dominant side,respectively (39.27 ± 14.52 w; 37.59 ± 13.49 w) through the use of ahandgrip dynamometer. Subjects’ upper body strength was tested usinga bench press 1RM test with an already standardized protocol. Subjects’maximal strength resulted in an average of 49.21 ± 23.87 kg. HG and1RM testing were overseen by the same investigator and conducted withthe same equipment. Each subject was instructed to refrain from anystrenuous activities for 72 hours before testing d! ay. STATISTICASoftware package© for Windows© was adopted wh en appropriate.Overall the findings showed a strong relation (Pearson’s r=0.77) betweenHG and 1RM bench press in both, male (0.41) and female (0.80)but a low association with Free Fat Mass. Unexpectedly, female havehigher association than males. These preliminary results shown that thehandgrip strength might be associated to the individual maximal strengthperformance and it might be considered as a valid predictor of upperbody strength performance within a sport/fitness context, though thepresented pilot intervention we cannot draw any conclusion on the topic,due to the limited sample analyzed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages18-18
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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