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Vol. 22. Issue 6.
Pages 474-483 (01 November 2018)
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Vol. 22. Issue 6.
Pages 474-483 (01 November 2018)
Original Research
DOI: 10.1016/j.bjpt.2018.04.006
Isometric muscle strength in children and adolescents using Handheld dynamometry: reliability and normative data for the Brazilian population
Lígia Maria Tezo Daloiaa, Marisa Maia Leonardi-Figueiredoa, Edson Zangiacomi Martinezb, Ana Claudia Mattiello-Sverzuta,
Corresponding author

Corresponding author at: Ribeirão Preto Medical School, University of São Paulo, Fisioterapia e Terapia Ocupacional, 2nd Floor, Avenida Miguel Covian, 120, CEP: 14.049-900 Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil.
a Departamento de Ciências da Saúde, Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo (FMRP-USP), Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil
b Departamento de Medicina Social, Faculdade de Medicina de Ribeirão Preto, Universidade de São Paulo (FMRP-USP), Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil

  • Boys develop more pronounced isometric muscular strength starting at 10 years of age and it peaks at 14 and 15 years.

  • The Handheld dynamometer has excellent inter-rater reliability and an intra-rater agreement for all muscle groups tested.

  • The development of muscle strength for the Brazilian population is similar to that observed in the northern hemisphere.

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Tables (4)
Table 1. Description of the isometric muscle strength assessment protocol.
Table 2. Anthropometric characteristics shown as mean and interval (minimum and maximum) for each age group separated by sex.
Table 3. Inter-rater reliability considering the different muscle groups analyzed bilaterally.
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Isometric muscle strength measured by Handheld dynamometer indicates physical ability. There is no normative data for the Brazilian population. This study aims (a) to describe the development of isometric muscle strength in healthy children and adolescents 5–15 years of age; (b) to evaluate Handheld dynamometer inter and intra-rater reliability.


Isometric muscle strength was obtained for shoulder abduction, elbow and knee flexion and extension, dorsiflexion and plantar flexion in 55 boys and 55 girls, aged between 5 and 15 years. Inter-rater reliability was determined based on the evaluation of 2 raters, with a 20-min interval between them. Intra-rater reliability was based on 2 evaluations from the same rater, one week apart. Interclass correlation coefficient (ICC2,1; 3,1), Bland Altman plots and linear regression models with mixed effects were used to quantify inter and intra-rater reliability, agreement and associations with physical activity level and maturational factors.


A linear development of isometric muscular strength was observed for ages between 5 and 10. After age 10, boys showed a larger isometric muscular strength, when compared to girls. Both inter and intra-rater measurements of the Handheld dynamometer are reliable (ICC>0.63).


This study shows increase in isometric muscle strength starting at 10 years of age for boys, when compared to girls and inter and intra-rater reliability for the assessment of isometric strength, using the Handheld dynamometer for the muscle groups tested on the dominant and non-dominant side, for children between 5 and 15 years of age.

Muscle strength
Handheld dynamometer


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