Monitoring The Strength of The Athlete’s Elbow Flexors With Biceps Curl Test

Biceps Curl Test. The objective of this test is to monitor the strength of the athlete’s elbow flexors.

Required resources
To undertake this test you will require:
  • Set of dumbbells ranging from 1.4kg (3lbs) to at least 22.7kg (50lb). The smaller the dumbbell increments the better the resolution for determining 1RM
  • Seat with back rest adjusted to an angle of 30 degrees to the vertical
  • Assistant.
How to conduct the test
Biceps Curl Test

The test is conducted as follows:

  • Check that the inclined back rest is at 30 degrees to the vertical
  • The initial dumbbell weight should be selected according to the estimated strength of the athlete. For untrained subjects this ranges from 6 kg to 12 kg for males and 3 kg to 6 kg for females
  • The correct technique requires that the subject stands behind the inclined surface with the arm and supinated (palm up) forearm resting on the inclined surface
  • The assistant hands the athlete the dumbbell which also rests against the inclined surface
  • Avoiding any jerking motions, the athlete attempts to flex the elbow to a vertical forearm position. When this position is attained, the dumbbell is taken by the tester.
  • If the athlete can successfully complete one repetition, repeat the procedure after one minute, adding an additional weight to the previous resistance
  • Continue with this procedure, allowing one minute recovery between attempts until the 1RM has been determined
  • Record the final resistance.


Analysis of the result is by comparing it with the results of previous tests. It is expected that, with appropriate training between each test, the analysis would indicate an improvement.

Target group

This test is suitable for active athletes but not for individuals where the test would be contraindicated.


Reliability would depend upon how strict the test is conducted and the individual’s level of motivation to perform the test.


There are no published tables to relate results to potential performance in competition.
Mackenzie, Brian. 2005. 101 Performance Evalution Test. Electric World Plc. London.
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