The 90/90 Test

Test Objective for 90/90 Test

This test is designed to highlight any limitations in mobility of the gleno-humeral joint and/or stability of the scapulo-thoracic junction. More specifically, the 90/90 Test measures the player’s range of external rotation in the shoulder and their ability to maintain scapular stability in a golf posture. We look at the amount of external rotation in each shoulder from a standing position and then compare that range to how the shoulder rotates in their golf posture. Many golfers will lose range of motion in their golf posture due to a lack of scapular stability. If the shoulder blade elevates or flares due to muscular imbalances or poor posture in their golf stance, it will change the orientation of the glenoid fossa (shoulder joint). This in turn, will greatly reduce the amount of external rotation in their shoulder joint.

How to Perform the 90/90 Test

Have the golfer stand tall and hold their right arm out to their side with 90 degrees of flexion in their elbow and 90 degrees of side abduction at the shoulder joint. Now, without letting them bend their thorax backward, have the golfer try to externally rotate (rotating the hand up and back) their right hand as far as possible. Only continue rotating as far as the body will allow with no compromises in the posture (no arching of the back!). Never perform this test to the point of pain or discomfort.

Once the client is in a fully externally rotated position, it is time to grade the degrees of rotation. We are going to place them into one of three categories (see picture on opposite page):

  • Less than Spine Angle - their forearm does not externally rotate past the angle of their spine angle (usually less than 90 degrees)
  • Equal to Spine Angle - their forearm is parallel to their spine angle (usually 90 degrees)
  • More than Spine Angle - their forearm externally rotates past their spine angle (usually greater than 90 degrees)
  • Repeat on the opposite side.

The next portion of this test will be to complete the same process with only one change, the set-up posture. In this portion of the exam you will have your client get into a normal five iron set-up posture. Again, raise elbow and arm to a 90/90 position and rotate the hand externally. Observe the forearm-spine angle relationship in the same fashion as during the standing portion of the exam. Repeat on the opposite side.

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