Age-related changes in normal isometric shoulder strength

Richard E. Hughes, Marjorie E. Johnson, Shawn W. O'Driscoll, Kai Nan An

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Scopus citations


Normative data are useful for assessing isometric shoulder strength in patients with bilateral shoulder abnormalities. The purpose of this study was to develop a normative database for shoulder strength in the clinically relevant positions and movements. Twenty combinations of exertions and postures - including flexion, extension, abduction, adduction, internal rotation, and external rotation - were tested for both the dominant and nondominant sides. Strength was measured isometrically using a modified Cybex II dynamometer. The cross-sectional study design included 120 subjects (60 women and 60 men) ranging in age from 20 to 78 years from southern Minnesota. Tables of normative strength data were constructed. Multivariate analyses were performed to assess the effect of age, sex, and weight on strength. Age was negatively associated with all strength measures, and weight was positively associated with them. Men were stronger than women when controlling for age and weight. Statistically significant differences between dominant and nondominant shoulders were found for only some of the strength measures taken. These normal data will be useful to the clinician, as they permit a standard against which to compare shoulder strength.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)651-657
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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