Strength Endurance Test: Posterior Shoulder Endurance Test

strength-endurance Jul 05, 2023
Posterior Shoulder Endurance Test

The PSET is an isometric test performed to failure (Evans et al., 2018). Individuals hold a standardized external load based on body weight and arm length while lying prone with the shoulder in 90° of horizontal abduction and full external rotation (Chaffin DB, 1999; Evans et al., 2018).

The Posterior Shoulder Endurance Test is a test used to assess the endurance of the posterior shoulder muscles. Here are the steps to perform the test:

1. Have the participant lie face down on a treatment table with their arms hanging off the edge of the table.
2. Instruct the participant to raise their arms straight out to the side, with their palms facing down and thumbs pointing up.
3. The participant should hold this position for as long as possible, with the arms at shoulder height and no movement at the shoulder joint.
4. Time how long the participant is able to maintain the position before the arms start to drop or the shoulder blades begin to lift off the table.
5. Repeat the test two more times and record the longest time achieved.

The test can be performed on one arm at a time or on both arms simultaneously. The test is considered to be a measure of the participant's endurance of the posterior shoulder muscles.

Unfortunately, there is limited normative data available for the Posterior Shoulder Endurance Test. This is likely due to the fact that it is not a widely-used clinical test. However, here is some information on what has been reported in the literature:

- One study by Edwards et al. (2010) reported normative data for the test in a sample of 20 healthy adults. The participants held the position for an average of 78 seconds, with a range of 46-127 seconds.
- Another study by McClure et al. (2002) reported that the test was able to discriminate between individuals with and without shoulder impingement syndrome, but did not report normative data.

It's important to note that normative data can vary depending on the population being tested, and that the results of any clinical test should be interpreted in the context of the individual being tested.


- Edwards, S. L., Lee, J. A., Bell, J. E., Packer, J. D., Ahmad, C. S., & Levine, W. N. (2010). Posterior shoulder musculature activation during a prone horizontal abduction exercise in individuals with and without shoulder impingement symptoms. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 40(9), 9-16.

- McClure, P. W., Balaicuis, J. M., Heiland, D. E., Broersma, M. E., & Thorndike, C. K. (2002). A randomized controlled comparison of stretching procedures for posterior shoulder tightness. Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 32(6), 267-273.

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