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Quantitative Examination of Upper and Lower Extremity Muscle Activation During Common Shoulder Rehabilitation Exercises Using the Bodyblade

Oliver, Gretchen D.1; Sola, Mike2; Dougherty, Chris3; Huddleston, Sean3

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: September 2013 - Volume 27 - Issue 9 - p 2509–2517
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31827fd4c2
Original Research

Oliver, GD, Sola, M, Dougherty, C, and Huddleston, S. Quantitative examination of upper and lower extremity muscle activation during common shoulder rehabilitation exercises using the bodyblade. J Strength Cond Res 27(9): 2509–2517, 2013—The kinetic chain approach to shoulder rehabilitation has become a standard of care within sports medicine. Attempting to incorporate the kinetic chain method of proximal stability for distal mobility requires a stable base of not only the lower extremity but also the upper extremity. Therefore, it was the purpose of this study to quantify muscle activation of the upper and lower extremity during common shoulder rehabilitation exercises using the Bodyblade. An observational descriptive study design was used. Thirty healthy collegiate graduate students (age: 23.5 ± 1.34 years; height: 174.4 ± 11.0 cm; weight: 76.6 ± 16.9 kg), regardless of gender, consented to participate. The independent variables were the 2 observational categories of exercise and muscle. The dependent variable was considered muscle activation as presented as percent maximum voluntary isometric contraction. Results revealed moderate to moderately strong activation of both the musculature of the upper and lower extremity while performing the shoulder rehabilitation exercises. The findings of this study demonstrate that any of these exercises may be incorporated into a shoulder rehabilitation program. The muscle activations described in this study are beneficial in choosing appropriate exercises to perform during shoulder rehabilitation. Information from this study can be applied to the kinetic chain approach to shoulder rehabilitation where focus is on the movement pattern. The Bodyblade is a unique rehabilitation tool because a variety of kinetic chain movement pattern exercises allow for scapular control via muscle activation about the hip and shoulder.

1Department of Kinesiology, Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama

2Department of Health, Human Performance, and Recreation, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Arkansas

3Agility Center, Bentonville, Arkansas

Address correspondence to Dr. Gretchen D. Oliver,

Copyright © 2013 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.