I'm looking for a way to translate the Portuguese phrase 'fazer força com a mão', which literaly translates as 'to exert strength with the hand'.
I've searched the Internet and I came across a lot of 'hand grip strength' but not a verb that could fit the bill. I've also toyed with phrases such as 'apply strength', but they just don't feel natural.
I'd like something that could fit sentences such as:
- She exerted strength with her hand and hurt herself.
- She had to exert a lot of strength with her hand before she could open the lid.
- She couldn't exert strength with her hand because of her hurt thumb.
The phrase should imply that there is a strong grip (which is mostly stationary) followed by exerting strength to produce a (twisting, horizontal, vertical, what you may) movement. In a sense, it's a "strong grip immediately followed by strong production of movement".