Grip Strength Protocols


Component of fitness assessed: Strength (upper arm/forearm).

The grip strength test will be conducted using a handgrip dynamometer.

You will be asked to present both your left and right hands to the staff member conducting the grip strength test, with your palm facing up. At this time the dynamometer will be adjusted to your hand size so that the most accurate reading possible is obtained during the test.


  1. Once the dynamometer is set to your hand size, the dial will be reset to zero and you will be asked to stand with your heels, buttocks and upper back in contact with a wall.
  2. You will then raise the arm holding the dynamometer until your arm is in a vertical position, with the dynamometer above your head. The dynamometer is held so that the dial is facing outwards at this point. This is the starting position for the test.
  3. Once in this position, you will be directed to start when you are ready.
  4. You complete the test by gripping as hard as possible on the dynamometer whilst moving the device through a 180-degree arc, such that your finish position is with the dynamometer by your side at hip level. This movement should occur over a three second period, and you must grip maximally over the whole range of movement. Throughout the test movement, your arm must remain straight and locked at the elbow and your heels, buttocks and upper back must remain in contact with the wall.
  5. Once you have completed the maneuver, turn your hand over so the dial can be read and your score recorded.
  6. You will then place the dynamometer in the opposite hand and repeat this process.

Your score for this test is the maximum score recorded for both your left and right hands and must reach the level highlighted below. If either of your first attempts does not reach the necessary level, you will be given the opportunity to repeat the test on the non-successful hand(s). If you do not keep your heels, buttocks or upper back in contact with the wall throughout the test, and/or your arm holding the dynamometer does not remain straight throughout the movement, you will be asked to stop at that point and repeat, using correct technique. You must use the correct technique in this test on each attempt (regardless of score), for it to be deemed successful.

Score Requirement

All applicants must achieve a score of ≥ 30.0 kg on both left and right hands.

≥ means greater than or equal to.

About the Author

Russell Kempster

Russell Kempster

Russ spent 12 years as a police officer with Victoria Police. The last four years of that time was spent at the Victoria Police Academy as an instructor, where he taught everything from fitness to firearms. He has trained police applicants, as well as recruits undergoing their initial training, experienced serving police officers and was even called on by Victoria Police to help train other would-be police academy instructors.

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