Athletic Shoulder Test

Original Editor - Carina Therese Magtibay
Top Contributors - Carina Therese Magtibay and Ewa Jaraczewska

Purpose[edit | edit source]

The athletic shoulder (ASH) test is used to assess and monitor the shoulder isometric strength of athletes during recovery[1]. It is a novel test developed by Ashworth et al. (2018) that focuses on rugby players at risk of shoulder injuries when performing long lever arm tackles.

Technique[edit | edit source]

Position: Prone on the floor with the forehead resting on a 4cm foam block and the hand placed on a vertical axis platform.


The subject will push down from the shoulder in three consecutive test positions maximally for 3 seconds:

  1. I-test: Shoulder positioned in full abduction (180°), forearm in pronation and elbow in full extension. Contralateral arm at the side.
  2. Y-test: Shoulder positioned at 135°, forearm in pronation and elbow in full extension. The contralateral arm placed behind the back
  3. T-test: Shoulder positioned at 90°, forearm in pronation and elbow in full extension. The contralateral arm is placed behind the back.


Evidence[edit | edit source]

The test demonstrates excellent reliability, but further studies are needed to assess its sensitivity[1]

  • Interday reliability in all test positions (ICC 0.94–0.98)
  • Absolute reliability (SEM 4.8–10.8)
  • Interday measurement error was below 10% in all test positions (CV 5.0–9.9) except for non-dominant arm I-position (CV 11.3%)"

Summary[edit | edit source]

Using a force platform is considered the gold standard in assessing isometric force[3]. However, due to their cost and impracticality, other devices are studied as potential alternatives[4][5]. The Modified-Athletic Shoulder Test (M-AST) is a promising alternative, utilizing a handheld dynamometer for the easier test implementation. A strong concordance was found between ASH Test and M-AST values (ICC = 0.86–0.97; p > 0.05) in all the positions[5].

Resources[edit | edit source]

  1. ForceDecks Test: Athletic Shoulder (ASH) Test Protocol

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ashworth B, Hogben P, Singh N, Tulloch L, Cohen DD. The Athletic Shoulder (ASH) test: reliability of a novel upper body isometric strength test in elite rugby players. BMJ open sport & exercise medicine. 2018 Jul 1;4(1):e000365.
  2. Physio Network. Athletic Shoulder Testing. Available from: [last accessed 18/9/2018]
  3. Stark T, Walker B, Phillips JK, Fejer R, Beck R. Hand-held dynamometry correlation with the gold standard isokinetic dynamometry: a systematic review. PM&R. 2011 May 1;3(5):472-9.
  4. Królikowska A, Mika A, Plaskota B, Daszkiewicz M, Kentel M, Kołcz A, Kentel M, Prill R, Diakowska D, Reichert P, Stolarczyk A. Reliability and Validity of the Athletic Shoulder (ASH) Test Performed Using Portable Isometric-Based Strength Training Device. Biology. 2022 Apr 11;11(4):577.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Tooth C, Forthomme B, Croisier JL, Gofflot A, Bornheim S, Schwartz C. The Modified-Athletic Shoulder Test: Reliability and validity of a new on-field assessment tool. Physical therapy in sport. 2022 Nov 1;58:8-15.