My Pinch Finger Strength Testing

This testing session is designed to assess finger strength in two different grip positions using a Lattice pinch block. The grip positions used are a strict wide pinch and a 4 finger hold either open or half crimp on a 20mm edge.

Testing and training with a pinch block is a useful alternative to using a finger board. Weights used on a pinch block and the arm position is very different to using a fingerboard but the validity of a test retest protocol before and after a training block is still high. Therefore, this is a useful method to measure any gains you may have made in finger strength.

Results from this session also provide an excellent baseline from which to calculate the intensities of other sessions, such as max holds and 50% aerobic power repeater holds.

When comparing any results from testing sessions or when using the loads based on testing during training (i.e. 50% repeaters) it is extremely important that you place your fingers in the same position on the holds and use the same grip type (i.e. half crimp). This is especially important on the pinch grip as holding the pinch further down will make the hold a lot easier.

How to Use a Pinch Block Safely

A key component of using a pinch block is that the weight is lifted from the ground rather than hanging from your arms in an overhead position. To do this safely and effectively please follow the guidelines below;

1) Always lift from your legs and not your arms. The weights attached to the pinch block should be in contact with the ground whilst you are able to grip your chosen hold. Whilst the weight is still in contact with the floor your arm should be straight, your back should be straight with a hinge at the hips and your legs should be bent. To lift the weight from the floor you should extend your legs and extend at the hip into an upright standing position whilst keeping your arm straight. If you lift the weight by bending your arm instead of straightening your legs you are not using the ideal form for testing or training. Lifting from the arm is likely to limit your performance and skew your results.

Careful of your toes!

2) Make sure your feet are out of the way. This may seem obvious but it is important to make sure you cannot hit your feet or any other body part if you suddenly drop the pinch block with the weights attached. This can happen quite easily when trying to lift maximal loads.

3) Be strict on grip positions used. Make sure to take an accurate note of where your fingers are placed on the holds in each grip position to make test retest results and training loads reliable.

For further guidance on these points and for help with future training please watch the video link below;

Testing Instructions

Complete up to 8 sets (on each arm) of progressively heavier hangs until you reach a maximum score. You may reach a higher score on one arm but please record both for more detailed results. Rest for 3 minutes between each hold on the same arm. This means you can attempt a hold every 90 seconds on alternating arms.

Each hang must follow the rules below;

  • Lift the weight from the floor using the set grip position
  • Each hold must last a full 7 seconds from the weight leaving the floor to hitting the floor
  • Your arms should be straight or bent slightly.
  • You must use the set grip positions listed below.

A max score is the highest load completed for the set time staying in the same grip position. Once the load is too high for you to complete a full 7 second hold you have reached failure.

Test 1: Pinch Grip Strength

Using the standardised pinch position, complete the heaviest hold possible for the set 7 second period. You MUST keep your fingers and thumb above the line on the top of the block. You can put your fingers in the screw holes if you desire. Make sure to keep the block vertical and do not tilt your wrist to create an angle. See picture below for guidelines. Test both hands with 90 seconds between each hand and 3 minutes between the same hand.

Proper pinch grip form.

Test 2: Lattice standard testing edge

Using the Lattice standard testing edge, complete the heaviest hold possible for the set 7 seconds. You can use either a 4 finger open grip position or a 4 finger half crimp position for this testing but your thumb should not be in contact with the hold. Use the same timing as in the pinch test but please rest for at least 10 minutes between testing each grip position.

Open grip position.
Half crimp position.

Recording Your Score

Record the weight used on each hand for both grip positions. Remember you need to complete a full 7 second hold for it to count! Once you’ve completed the testing send us your results here and we’ll analyse your data and send you a report.


Any maximal testing session includes some form of risk. Please follow the rules below to reduce the risk of injury and seek advice from a professional coach if you are unsure how to perform this testing safely.

  • Do not change grip positions whilst holding weights. If your fingers move or open out whilst under load, you should immediately stop the set and place the weights back on the ground by bending your legs. 
  • Load your fingers slowly when beginning a hold.
  • Increase the load of each set slowly. Increments of up to 5kg should be used.
  • If you have not reached a max load within 8 sets, finish testing and complete this session on another day.