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Numerous strength dynamometer products exist to measure human muscle forces by combining squeeze, push, or pull leverage devices with analog or digital meters. These are designed to measure forces in units of weight such as pounds or kilograms. Various devices are capable of measuring different areas, including hand strength, or shoulder and back strength. Others are specified for measuring wrist and forearm strength, legs, feet, and virtually any point of skeletal muscle movement on the body. Devices may rely on analog or digital metering and resistance based on technology using springs, bulbs, hydraulics, or pneumatics.
The variety of designs available for measuring even a single part of the body means an abundance of techniques and technologies for achieving strength measurements. For example, a hand-strength dynamometer may be designed to measure forces that include a crush grip, a pinch grip, or a support grip. Hand-strength dynamometer products may provide squeeze levers with integrated scales, bulbs, or pinch gauges for use in medical or sports fitness evaluations.
Others might feature handgrips for pulling in various directions, for example with dual-grip pull bars connected by a chain to a meter. This type of device might be employed to measure back, leg, and chest muscle forces for evaluations of individual or muscle group actions. A shoulder dynamometer might rely on two opposing handles with a central gauge designed to measure the outward pulling forces of both arms. If a fitness machine exists to build the movement strength of an individual or muscle group, chances are there is a dynamometer designed to measure that movement.
These devices may also be employed to assist in therapeutic evaluations, to measure limitations from injury or disability, and mark any training progress. As such, products may be designed to accommodate precision medical or physical therapy applications. These units may also serve fitness therapy and sports medicine applications.
In many cases, strength dynamometer applications warrant the use of accessories such as variable detachable grips; these might include lever handles, single or dual handgrips, cable mounts, and shovel grips, among others. This may extend the evaluative capabilities of any particular strength dynamometer. Typically, an evaluation consists of an athlete or patient applying as much pressure as possible to the dynamometer mechanism, while a specialist records their maximum reading of the grip held for several seconds or longer. Tests are repeated several times and compared with prior tests in order to gauge strength limits or progress.
Products may be designed in analog or digital technologies. Electronic strength dynamometer products provide convenient digital readouts, while analog gauges offer an intuitive, sometimes more consistent precision, though accuracy may depend upon the size and scale of the gauge. These products come rated for different strength capacities and may vary widely in quality and price. They can range in cost from cheap to consumer grade and up to more expensive professional therapeutic equipment.