purpose: To test the flexibility of the shoulder joint, which is important for injury prevention and in particular is important in swimming, racket sports and throwing sports.
equipment required: ruler or tape measure.
pre-test: Explain the test procedures to the subject. Perform screening of health risks and obtain informed consent. Prepare forms and record basic information such as age, height, body weight, gender, test conditions. Perform an appropriate warm-up. See more details of pre-test procedures.
procedure: Test your left shoulder by standing with your right arm straight up, then bend your elbow so your hand hangs behind your head. Keeping your upper arm stationary, rest your palm between your shoulder blades. Reach around behind you with your left arm so the palm is facing out and try to touch the fingers of both hands together. Reverse the procedure and repeat with the opposite shoulder.
scoring: measure the minimum distance between hands. See the table below for general guidelines for interpreting the results
|Good||Fingers are touching|
|Fair||Fingertips are not touching but are less than two inches (5cm) apart.|
|Poor||Fingertips are greater than two inches (5cm) apart.|
disadvantages: Variations in arm length can make comparisons between individuals misleading.
- Shoulder Stretch — can the hands can be brought together behind the back.
- Back Scratch — how close can the hands can be brought together behind the back. Designed for seniors, is effectively the same as this flexibility test.
- Apley's Shoulder Scratch Test — shoulder movement measured by reaching behind to touch the opposite scapula.
- Shoulder Flexibility Test — Lift a stick over the head to behind the back, maintaining the hand grip on the object
- Other flexibility tests
- Flexibility Test Videos
- See also the shoulder flexibility exercises on this list of stretches
- Flexibility Store — items to measure flexibility.