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Static Flexibility Test - Shoulder

Testing and measurement are the means of collecting information upon which subsequent performance evaluations and decisions are made. In the analysis, we need to bear in mind the factors that may influence the results.


This test aims to monitor the development of the athlete's shoulder flexibility/mobility.

Required Resources

To conduct this test, you will require:

  • A piece of rope approx. 1 metre in length
  • Tape measure
  • Assistant

How to conduct the test

  • The athlete warms up for 10 minutes
  • The athlete holds the rope in front of them with both hands shoulder-width apart
  • The athlete extends the arms over their head and down behind them (allowing the hands to slide along the rope as they do so) until the rope touches their lower back
  • The athlete holds the final position whist measurements are recorded
  • The assistant measures and records the distance between the tips of the athlete's thumbs
  • The assistant measures and records the shoulder width
  • The assistant subtracts the shoulder measurement from thumb measurement and records the result
  • The test is repeated three times and the longest distance, following subtraction, is used to assess the athlete's performance
Shoulder - Start Shoulder - Mid position Shoulder - Finish Position


The following normative data is available for this test. The table, adapted from Johnson (1986)[1], is for athletes aged under 36.

Rating Men Women
Excellent <7.00 <5.00
Good 7.00 - 11.50 5.00 - 9.75
Average 11.51 - 14.50 9.76 - 13.00
Fair 14.51 - 19.75 13.10 - 17.75
Poor >19.75 >17.75

For an evaluation of the athlete's performance, select the gender, enter the distance and then select the 'Calculate' button.

Gender Distance inches     Assessment


Analysis of the test result is by comparing it with the athlete's previous results for this test. It is expected that, with appropriate training between each test, the analysis would indicate an improvement in the athlete's shoulder flexibility.

Target Group

These tests are suitable for active individuals but not for those where the test would be contraindicated.


Test reliability refers to how a test is consistent and stable in measuring what it is intended to measure. Reliability will depend upon how strict the test is conducted and the individual's level of motivation to perform the test. The following link provides various factors that may influence the results and therefore, test reliability.


Test validity refers to the degree to which the test measures what it claims to measure and the extent to which inferences, conclusions, and decisions made based on test scores are appropriate and meaningful. This test provides a means to monitor training on the athlete's physical development.


  • Minimal equipment required
  • Simple to set up and conduct
  • Can be conducted almost anywhere


  • Assistant required to administer the test


  1. JOHNSON, B.L. and NELSON, J.K. (1986) Practical Measurements for Evaluation in PE. 4th ed. Minneapolis: Burgess Publishing

Page Reference

If you quote information from this page in your work, then the reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2007) Static Flexibility Test - Shoulder [WWW] Available from: [Accessed