Choosing Exercises to Fit the SportWhen you take a medication, it's usually for a reason. Pharmacists tell you what to take and how much to take. Exercise can be dispensed in the same way. Specific types of exercise in known amounts can be prescribed to prevent or treat muscle injury.
Physical therapists at the American Sports Medicine Institute (ASMI) are leading the way in exercise prescriptions. They used electrodes to measure muscle activity of four shoulder muscles. Ten subjects with normal shoulders were measured during seven shoulder rehab exercises.
The goal was to find which exercises work the best to increase strength in the shoulder. Researchers looked at commonly used exercises for shoulder external rotation. They found that muscle activity was different for all seven exercises. They were able to find which exercises worked best for each muscle.
This information will help physical therapists choose the right exercises to strengthen the shoulder without pinching the joint capsule or putting upward pressure on the joint. The best position for each exercise is also reported.
Michael M. Reinold, DPT, ATC, et al. Electromyographic Analysis of the Rotator Cuff and Deltoid Musculature during Common Shoulder External Rotation Exercises. In Journal of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. July 2004. Vol. 34. No. 7. Pp. 385-393.
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