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This article focuses on the validity of the circumduction test for measuring shoulder flexibility in older adults. Participants included 137 community-dwelling older adults. Equipment consisted of a cord with a fixed handle on one end and a sliding handle on the other. The sliding handle was adjusted so that the cord length between the 2 handles equaled the participant’s shoulder width. Holding the 2 handles, the participant must pass the cord from the front of the body over the head and as far back as possible with extended arms. The score is the fanning-out angle. Forward flexion, abduction, horizontal retroflexion, and outward rotation were also measured. The test and criterion measurements were administered within 1 wk. The criterion-related validity of the circumduction test as a measure of forward flexion and horizontal retroflexion received support from moderate correlations. Its use as a measure of abduction and outward rotation, however, received no support from the data.

Lemmink, de Greef, and Rispens are with the Institute of Human Movement Sciences, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands. Kemper is with the EMGO Institute, University Medical Center, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Stevens is with the Dept. of Orthopedics, University Hospital, Gronningen, The Netherlands.

Journal of Aging and Physical Activity