Senior's Arm Curl Test




Population Average




Select sex and enter information in the left column. 'Repetitions' is the number of times the subject curls weight within 30 seconds. Click "Calculate". Evaluates arm flexor strength endurance for seniors, 60 through 94 years of age.

Instruct the subject:

"Do the best you can on each test item, but never push yourself to a point of overexertion or beyond what you think is safe for you."

The subject should be encouraged to perform a trial of one or two repetitions without weight before test to clarify form.

  • Sit on a chair with a dumbbell
    • Women: 5 lbs (2.3 kg)
    • Men: 8 lbs (3.6 kg)
  • Hold the weight in a handshake grip with arm fully extended to the side of the chair
  • Curl weight by flexing elbow while turning the palm of the hand toward the shoulder
  • Lower until elbow is straight
  • Repeat curling until 30 seconds expire

Test administrator provides test instructions to subject, keeps time, counts the number of repetitions completed in 30 seconds, and announces when time has been completed. Normal ranges are between the 25th and 75th percentiles as indicated by the score.

The elbow flexors are used in normal everyday activities such as carrying groceries, lifting a suitcase, and picking up grandchildren. The 30-second arm curl test is a good predictor of arm flexor strength as well as overall upper body strength. Most participants, including those with arthritis, have found this test can be performed without much discomfort and were less bothered by this test as compared to the maximum grip strength protocol commonly performed in other test batteries.

Howley ET & Franks BD (2007) Fitness Professionals Handbook, 5, 127-130.

Rikli R & Jones CJ (1999). See Senior's Fitness Manual.

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