The measurement of strength in children: Is the peak value truly maximal?

Hayao Ozaki, Takashi Abe, Scott J. Dankel, Jeremy P. Loenneke, Toshiharu Natsume, Pengyu Deng, Hisashi Naito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


It is unclear whether the measurement of maximum muscle strength in younger children can be performed accurately due to factors such as motivation and maturity (i.e., the ability to receive instruction). If there is a large change in a ratio between muscular strength and size from the youngest to the oldest, then this might provide some indication that the youngest may not have been able to voluntarily activate their muscles for reasons mentioned previously. The purpose of this study was to observe the ratio between handgrip strength (HGS) and forearm muscle thickness (MT) across differing ages in younger children. A total of 1133 preschool children (559 boys and 574 girls) between the ages of 4.5 and 6.5 years had MT and HGS measurements and calculated the ratio of HGS/MT (kg/cm). Linear regression was used to assess the impact of age and sex on the dependent variables of MT, HGS, and the HGS/MT ratio. The HGS/MT ratio increases moderately from age 4.5 to 6.5 in both boys and girls. However, the difference in this ratio was small between the age ranges in this sample. Our results indicate children as young as 4.5 may be accurately measured with the handgrip strength test.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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