Balance and Proprioception: Upper Quarter Y Balance Test

balance and proprioception May 22, 2023

The Upper Quarter Y Balance Test (UQYBT) is an easy to perform test that places the patient or client into a closed chain push up position performing 3 reaches in the medial, superolateral and inferolateral directions.

This test assesses the shoulder girdle and core stability, as well as adequate shoulder and thoracic mobility and can be used for measuring pre and post-rehabilitation performance, improvement after performance enhancement programs, dynamic balance for fitness programs, and return to sport readiness. 

Research has indicated that more than a 4cm difference from side to side should be considered significant and increase the risk of injury (Ruffe et al 2019).

There is also normative data to standardize reach difference to arm length measured from the end of the middle finger to the CD joint of the spine (Gormon et al 2012).

Medial Reach: 92% arm length

Superolateral: 70% arm length

Inferolateral 82% arm length



  1. Set up the MAT  on a flat surface with enough space for the client to move freely.
  2. Instruct the client to adopt a prone, push-up position with the index finger of the outside hand aligned with the red line on the MAT.
  3. Queue the client to reach with their opposite arm out to the side as far as they can, three times. Instruct the client to reach with their opposite arm, gently touching as far as they can. Have them move around the circle on the MAT, reaching three times in each of these directions: anterior (relative to the direction of the MAT), posteromedial and posterolateral.
  4. The client should touch the MAT with the tips of their fingers without losing stability in the push-up position.
  5. Ask the individual to return to the starting position and repeat the reach test in the other two directions, forming a Y-shape.
  6. After completing all reach tests, mark the furthest distance reached in each direction on the MAT.
  7. Record the results and repeat the same protocol using the opposite arm.

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