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

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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.

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