Say It's Fast Three Times! - The Closed Kinetic Chain Upper Extremity Test - More Than Just a Tongue Twister

assessment Feb 14, 2018

What Is The Closed Kinetic Chain Upper Extremity Test (CKCUET)?

The Closed Kinetic Chain Upper Extremity Test (CKCUET) is a simple, easy-to-implement, test to measure your patient or client's strength, power, endurance, and stability of the upper extremities. It can be used in the assessment of the risk of injury to the shoulder and the upper extremity. 

Why Use The CKCUET?

Research has shown that the CKCUET can be useful in the risk assessment of upper limb injuries and monitoring the progress of strength and conditioning or rehabilitation exercise programs. It has been used in:

  • Assessment of baseball players’ readiness for return to play following shoulder injury (Roush, Kitamura, & Waits, 2007)

  • Examination of the effects of shoulder impingement syndrome in athletes and the general population (Tucci, Martins, Sposito, Camarini, and de Oliveira, 2014)

  • Prediction of handgrip strength, which is important in the assessment of those with rotator cuff pathology, with higher CKCUET scores positively correlating with greater grip strength and thus, reduced risk of rotator cuff injury (Dong-Rour, & Laurentius, 2015)  

  • All CKCUET scores were greater in active compared to sedentary and SIS males and females. At least a change of three touches are needed to be considered a significant improvement on CKCUET scores.

  • Scoring less than 21 touches on the CKCUET increased the likelihood of a shoulder injury during the season (5/6 of the injured players scored below 20 touches) (Pontillo et al 2014)

  • Those ‘unwilling or unable to perform or developed pain during the test were not able to participate in their sport pain-free in the glenohumeral complex.’ (Pontillo et al 2014)

  • Normative data: Males: 21 touches. Females: 23 touches. (Females performed testing in a kneeling position)

  • A calculation of upper body power can be performed by = 68% bodyweight x average amount of touches/15

How To Perform The CKCUET

To perform the CKCUET the patient or client adopts a self-selected push-up position on The MAT between markings 90cm apart. On the assessors mark the test subject alternately taps lateral to the stabilising hand as many times as possible within 15 seconds (Dong-Rour, & Laurentius, 2015). The amount of successful touches is counted across an average of three repetitions. 


Are you using The Closed Kinetic Chain Upper Extremity Test with your patients and clients?

Join the thousands of therapists and trainers worldwide who have stopped guessing and started measuring their patients and clients using the MAT.

Sign up for our MAT Course today to learn how to use the CKCUET alongside 50+ other objective assessments.

Click here to sign up for the MAT Course today. 


Stay connected with the latest MAT news and updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news, research and updates from the MAT team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.