Submaximal elastic resistance band tests to estimate upper and lower extremity maximal muscle strength

Bjarki Þór Haraldsson, Christoffer Højnicke Andersen, Katrine Thingholm Erhardsen, Mette Kreutzfeldt Zebis, Jéssica Kirsch Micheletti, Carlos Marcelo Pastre, Lars Louis Andersen

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Muscle strength assessment is fundamental to track the progress of performance and prescribe correct exercise intensity. In field settings, simple tests are preferred. This study develops equa-tions to estimate maximal muscle strength in upper- and lower-extremity muscles based on submaximal elastic resistance tests. Healthy adults (n = 26) performed a maximal test (1 RM) to validate the ability of the subsequent submaximal tests to determine maximal muscle strength, with elastic bands. Using a within-group repeated measures design, three submaximal tests of 40%, 60%, and 80% during (1) shoulder abduction, (2) shoulder external rotation, (3) hip adduction, and (4) prone knee flexion were performed. The association between number of repetitions and rela-tive intensity was modeled with both 1st and 2nd order polynomials to determine the best pre-dictive validity. For both upper-extremity tests, a strong linear association between repetitions and relative intensity was found (R2 = 0.97–1.00). By contrast, for the lower-extremity tests, the associations were fitted better with a 2nd order polynomial (R2 = 1.00). The results from the present study provide formulas for predicting maximal muscles strength based on submaximal resistance in four different muscles groups and show a muscle-group-specific association between repetitions and intensity.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2749
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021


  • physiotherapy
  • 1-repetition maximum
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Prediction
  • Resistance training


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