What Is the Shoulder Flexibility Test
The shoulder flexibility test is a simple measurement of the flexibility and mobility of the shoulder joint. Adequate range of motion in the shoulder is important for injury prevention and athletic performance, especially for those who take part in activities requiring lifting, pushing, pulling, caring or throwing. Because tightness has a correlation to issues in the upper back, neck and shoulders, this test may help determine a person's risk for future pain and injury.
Exercise physiologists and physical therapists use this test to assess baseline flexibility before starting an exercise or rehab program. A retest then occurs after several weeks to determine progress. Also, swimmers and tennis players use this position as a flexibility exercise to improve flexibility for their sport.
How to Perform the Shoulder Flexibility Test
- To test your left shoulder flexibility, stand and raise your right arm straight up overhead.
- Bend your right elbow and let your right palm rest on the back of your neck and slide it down your back and between your shoulder blades.
- Reach behind you with your left hand so the back of your hand rests on the middle of your back.
- Now slide your right hand down and your left hand up to touch the fingers of both hands.
- Measure the minimum distance between the fingertips of the right and left hand. Record any overlap as well.
- Switch your hands to perform the test on the opposite shoulder.
Shoulder Flexibility Test Results
Fingers are less than two inches apart
Fingers are over two inches apart