Neuromuscular shoulder activity during exercises with different combinations of stable and unstable weight mass

  • Background: Recent shoulder injury prevention programs have utilized resistance exercises combined with different forms of instability, with the goal of eliciting functional adaptations and thereby reducing the risk of injury. However, it is still unknown how an unstable weight mass (UWM) affects the muscular activity of the shoulder stabilizers. Aim of the study was to assess neuromuscular activity of dynamic shoulder stabilizers under four conditions of stable and UWM during three shoulder exercises. It was hypothesized that a combined condition of weight with UWM would elicit greater activation due to the increased stabilization demand. Methods: Sixteen participants (7 m/9 f) were included in this cross-sectional study and prepared with an EMG-setup for the: Mm. upper/lower trapezius (U.TA/L.TA), lateral deltoid (DE), latissimus dorsi (LD), serratus anterior (SA) and pectoralis major (PE). A maximal voluntary isometric contraction test (MVIC; 5 s.) was performed on an isokinetic dynamometer. Next, internal/external rotation (In/Ex), abduction/adduction (Ab/Ad) and diagonal flexion/extension (F/E) exercises (5 reps.) were performed with four custom-made-pipes representing different exercise conditions. First, the empty-pipe (P; 0.5 kg) and then, randomly ordered, water-filled-pipe (PW; 1 kg), weight-pipe (PG; 4.5 kg) and weight + water-filled-pipe (PWG; 4.5 kg), while EMG was recorded. Raw root-mean-square values (RMS) were normalized to MVIC (%MVIC). Differences between conditions for RMS%MVIC, scapular stabilizer (SR: U.TA/L.TA; U.TA/SA) and contraction (CR: concentric/eccentric) ratios were analyzed (paired t-test; p ≤ 0.05; Bonferroni adjusted α = 0.008). Results: PWG showed significantly greater muscle activity for all exercises and all muscles except for PE compared to P and PW. Condition PG elicited muscular activity comparable to PWG (p > 0.008) with significantly lower activation of L.TA and SA in the In/Ex rotation. The SR ratio was significantly higher in PWG compared to P and PW. No significant differences were found for the CR ratio in all exercises and for all muscles. Conclusion: Higher weight generated greater muscle activation whereas an UWM raised the neuromuscular activity, increasing the stabilization demands. Especially in the In/Ex rotation, an UWM increased the RMS%MVIC and SR ratio. This might improve training effects in shoulder prevention and rehabilitation programs.
Author:Omar Baritello, Mina Khajooei, Tilman Engel, Stephan Kopinski, Andrew Quarmby, Steffen MüllerORCiD, Frank Mayer
Parent Title (English):BMC Sports Science, Medicine and Rehabilitation
Document Type:Article (specialist journals)
Date of OPUS upload:2022/09/22
Date of first Publication:2020/03/26
Publishing University:Hochschule Trier
Release Date:2022/09/22
Tag:EMG; instability; overhead athlete; rotator cuff; unstable resistance training; water pipe
GND Keyword:Elektromyographie; Schultergelenk; Sportler; Rotatorenmanschette
Article Number:21 (2020)
Page Number:14
First Page:1
Last Page:14
Departments:FB Informatik + Therapiewissenschaft
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - CC BY - Namensnennung 4.0 International