19.02.2014

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Agility is an important component of many team sports, though it is not always tested, and is often difficult to interpret results.
The purpose of this test is to measure the maximum isometric strength of the hand and forearm muscles.
The forearm muscles are easily fatigued, so the best scores are usually achieved in the first or second trial. Results are expected to differ between male and females, between left and right (dominant and non-dominant) hands, and with age. This test is part of the Ice Hockey SPARQ rating, Eurofit Test Manual, Groningen Elderly Tests plus many others. The Back Scratch Test, or simply the Scratch Test, measures how close the hands can be brought together behind the back. A few of the popular tests in each category are listed, select 'more' for a comprehensive list of tests in each category.
I’ve recently added muscle oxygenation testing to my “testing toolbox.” Since this is a relatively new method of performance monitoring easily available to endurance athletes, I thought I’d give a short post on what it’s about. The Moxy unit measures the oxyhemoglobin concentration in relation to the total hemoglobin concentration in the muscle and reports it as a percentage known as SmO2. My next muscle oxygen post will review the data of one of these tests. Learn more about how I can help you with a muscle oxygen test.
The Illinois Agility Test (Getchell, 1979) is a commonly used test of agility in sports, and as such there are many norms available. Handgrip strength is important for any sport in which the hands are used for catching, throwing or lifting.


Various positions include the elbow being held at right angles as per the above procedure, the arm hanging by the side, and the extended arm being swung from above the head to by the side during the squeezing motion. If you wish to measure the strength of a particular muscle group, there are other specific tests that can be performed. The results can also be affected by the position of the wrist, elbow and shoulder, so these should be standardized.
This test is part of the Senior Fitness Test Protocol, and is designed to test the functional fitness of seniors.
Place one hand behind the head and back over the shoulder, and reach as far as possible down the middle of your back, your palm touching your body and the fingers directed downwards. Those scoring above this range would be considered above average for their age and those below the range as below average. Also, as a general rule people with strong hands tend to be strong elsewhere, so this test is often used as a general test of strength. Other protocols will just use the score from the dominant hand, or compare the left and right hand results. Another shoulder flexibility test designed for testing the elderly is the Shoulder Circumduction Test. Place the other arm behind your back, palm facing outward and fingers upward and reach up as far as possible attempting to touch or overlap the middle fingers of both hands. Below is a table showing the recommended ranges (in inches) for this test based on age groups (from Jones & Rikli, 2002).
Therefore obtaining an understand of hour your muscles utilize oxygen can be quite useful in determining strengths and limiters, and then developing a plan to optimize your training.


It’s been around in the medical field for some time, and you are probably most familiar with it in the form of a pulse oximeter. Oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin have different absorbance spectra in the near-IR region. The procedure for the Groningen Elderly Tests has the subject hang their hand by their side, one practice trial, best of three attempts with 30 seconds rest between. An assistant is required to direct the subject so that the fingers are aligned, and to measure the distance between the tips of the middle fingers.
That particular unit measures SpO2, or arterial oxygen, often from your finger tip, and calculates the percentage of oxygen in your arterial blood. Detecting the light that comes out of the skin, the amount of oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin can be measured. Doing this can tell us intensities where you are easily supplying your body with oxygen, in a steady state (consumption equals delivery), and where consumption exceeds delivery. Patel, Holly Syddall, Cyrus Cooper and Avan Aihie Sayer, A review of the measurement of grip strength in clinical and epidemiological studies: towards a standardised approach. By learning how your body behaves, you can more effectively train for your performance goals.
If they do not touch, measure the distance between the finger tips (a negative score), if they overlap, measure by how much (a positive score).



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