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

assessment Feb 14, 2018

The Closed Kinetic Chain Upper Extremity Test (CKCUET) is a simple, easy-to-implement, and easy method to measures your patient or clients strength, power, endurance and closed chain kinetic chain stability of the upper extremities. It can be used in the assessment of risk of injury to the shoulder and the upper extremity. 

It involves the patient adopting a push-up position and alternately tapping a pre-determined distance lateral to the stabilising hand as many times as possible within 15 seconds (Dong-Rour, & Laurentius, 2015).  

Research has shown that the CKCUET is particularly useful in the following:

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

  • Scoring less than 21 touches 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

  • Power calculation= 68% body weight x average amount of touches/15


Would you like to learn more about the CKCUET and join the thousands of therapists and trainers worldwide who have stopped guessing and started measuring their patients and clients using the MAT.

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