The Quadrupod Grip for Handwriting

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A few weeks ago, we explained that this grip is classified as an efficient grip for handwriting.

I have to confess that I‘m not totally convinced.

This grip may not put as much stress on the finger joints as other inefficient grips but it does restrict finger movements and therefore the fluidity of the handwriting.

The Quadrupod Grip is where the pencil is held between the top of the thumb, index and middle fingers and rests on the ring finger with the little finger slightly curled in.

I would normally see this as a developmental transitional pencil grip in younger children as they then move on to develop a Dynamic Tripod Grip, considered the most appropriate grip for handwriting.

Older children who have not moved on to develop the tripod grip may require more focused support in developing gross and/or fine motor skills. It is important to check that they are sitting correctly at the table and that the paper is positioned and tilted correctly for them. If they have a poor sitting posture it may be that extra work needs to be done on helping them to develop their gross motor skills. If this area seems fine then it could be that their fine motor skills require additional attention. See our ‘Key Strengths – Fit for Handwriting’ section for more information: http://bit.ly/1LABUGZ

It can be very difficult to get an older child to change their pencil grip especially if the old grip, like the Quadrupod Grip, is very similar to the new grip the Dynamic Tripod Grip. This is when it becomes difficult to know whether to continue to try and make a child change their pencil grip or not.

I think what we have to remember is:

“A pencil hold that provides speed, legibility is comfortable and will not cause harm to the joints of the hand over time. If a hold satisfies these criteria there is no need to change it”

(Benrow 2002, cited A Wagenteld, J Kaldenberg (co-editors), 2005: Foundation of Paediatric Practice for the Occupational Therapy Assistant; Pub: Slack Incorporated, ISBN-10:1-55642-629-1)

So if the child is complaining that their hand or fingers hurt or ache when they use the Quadrupod Grip, or that it is hindering their handwriting fluidity and speed, then we do need to support them in changing their grip. For some it may be more appropriate to introduce them to the Adaptive Tripod Grip (see last week’s blog) rather than trying to force them to use the Dynamic Tripod Grip.

We have to remember that every child is different and try our best to cater to their needs rather than our own preferences.

14 thoughts on “The Quadrupod Grip for Handwriting

  1. Madhav Pruthi February 2, 2020 / 7:37 pm

    Sr i m 20 yrs old ,and i write with quadrupod grip,and i feel hindrance… can i change my habit or not if yes then how ting will it take

    • lucyteachchildren February 4, 2020 / 12:08 pm

      Hello, Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. It will be difficult to change this to a dynamic tripod grip, I would recommend that you try changing to a Adaptive tripod grip. Information found by following this link and scrolling down the page: https://www.teachhandwriting.co.uk/handwriting-pencil-grip.html . I hope this help, Lucy

  2. Gayathri Ashok Kumar June 15, 2020 / 7:56 pm

    Hi I’m a 22 year old lefty with a dynamic quadrupod grip and I also tend to tilt the paper a complete 90°, holding the pen an inch away from the tip . I generally write slower than my peers and sometimes feel pain in my hand if I write too much fast. I have recently come upon pen holding positions and wondered if I need to correct the way I write.

    • lucyteachchildren June 18, 2020 / 9:20 am

      Hi Gayathri You may find that changing your grip will make handwriting less painful for you. Over the next couple of weeks our blogs are looking at a couple of different efficient grips. I think you may find the Adaptive Tripod Grip a good option to try. If you scroll down this page on our website you will find information on this grip. Here is a link: https://www.teachhandwriting.co.uk/handwriting-pencil-grip.html

  3. Ash1208 July 23, 2021 / 7:59 pm

    Hi, I’m a 14-year-old, and I just found out that the way I hold my pencil is bad (the quad grip). It hurts when I try to write with the tri-grip or the adaptive tri-grip, so what should I do?

    Also, I am one of the fastest writers in my class of 30. Do you think there is a need to change my grip, or can you suggest something else?

    • Ash1208 July 23, 2021 / 8:01 pm

      I also have my exams coming up soon, so I want to be able to write neatly, but really fast (and not hurt my hands) at the same time. I have about 6-7 months to prepare, so please share your inputs.

      • lucyteachchildren July 24, 2021 / 11:11 am

        The important thing is making sure your handwriting is legible. If you write fast but no-ne can read it then speed has done you no favours. What you need to focus on is sitting comfortably and finding the paper tilt that works best for you, as these will help improve handwriting. Your grip from what you say works for you, so stick with it. If there are no issues with your handwriting in the fact that it can be read easily by other and it the speed you want to improve look at our handwriting warm up exercises (link in this week blog). These kinds of activities will help to build strength and dexterity and great to use as calming down and muscle relation which can be very useful especially during exam time. Remember it is the quality of the information you give in your exams and that it can be read that is most important, good luck!

    • lucyteachchildren July 24, 2021 / 11:00 am

      Hi, The quadrupod is NOT a bad grip, but not the most efficient grip for handwriting compared to the tripod grip. As we say in our articles and on our website if you have this grip and it is comfortable and you do not experience pain or discomfort then you do not, at this stage in your life, need to change it.

  4. Lizzie Hutchings November 19, 2021 / 1:37 am

    My quadrupod grip never hurt me until I am taking AP Lang in high school (hah), should I change my grip considering I have to put the pencil down and shake my head every few minutes whilst speed writing?

    • lucyteachchildren November 23, 2021 / 2:55 pm

      Hi Lizzie, If it is causing you this much discomfort you may want to try the Adaptive Tripod grip. You may also find it useful to work on building your hand and finger strength and dexterity. Hope this helps Lucy

  5. Dee June 12, 2022 / 6:21 pm

    I’m an adult who uses the quadrupod grip, and I never knew that it was considered “wrong” until recently. I’ve always received compliments on my handwriting, and have always enjoyed writing (to the point that I eventually started studying pointed pen calligraphy). Not to sound immodest, but my penmanship is nicer than that of most people I know. I have longer than average hands and fingers, and they feel incredibly cramped when I attempt a tripod grip.

    • lucyteachchildren June 21, 2022 / 10:52 am

      Hi Dee, It is true that some would consider this grip as ‘wrong’. When in fact it is a efficient grip for handwriting just not as efficient as the dynamic tripod grip. At the end of the day it is about what works best for you.

  6. Johnny Sins October 15, 2022 / 4:42 pm

    I disagree with you saying the dynamic quadrupod grip is not as fluid as others. Maybe for you because it is not your natural grip. For people that have used this grip their whole lives will be much more proficient than somebody practicing different pencil grips

    • lucyteachchildren October 17, 2022 / 9:04 am

      Dear Johnny, Our article is based on scientific information from the world of occupational therapy and other professional bodies not a personnel view point. I agree that people who have been using this grip for their whole lives, (which in my case is quite a number) it will be more proficient than someone who is just starting to use a different grip position. As I believe we state in our articles it is an efficient grip, however it does not allow the same amount of finger movement and give as large a web space as the Dynamic Tripod grip this is just a fact not a fault..

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