Shoulder joint and muscle characteristics in the recreational weight training population.







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Shoulder disorders attributed to weight training are well documented in the literature; however, a paucity of evidence-based research exists to describe risk factors inherent to participation. Shoulder joint and muscle characteristics in the recreational weight training (RWT) population were investigated to determine specific risk-related adaptations that may occur from participation. Ninety participants, men between the ages of 19 and 47 (mean age 28.9), including 60 individuals who participated in upper-extremity RWT and 30 controls with no record of RWT participation, were recruited. Active range of motion (AROM), posterior shoulder tightness (PST), body weight-adjusted strength values, and agonist/antagonist strength ratios were compared between the RWT participants and the control group. Statistical analysis identified significant differences (p < 0.001) between the groups when analyzing shoulder mobility. The RWT participants had decreased mobility when compared with the control group for all AROM measurements except external rotation, which was greater. Strength ratios were significantly greater in the RWT group when compared with the control group (p ≤ 0.001), implying agonist/antagonist muscle imbalances. The findings of this investigation suggest that RWT participants are predisposed to strength and mobility imbalances as a result of training. The imbalances identified have been associated with shoulder disorders in the general and athletic population; thus, these imbalances may place RWT participants at risk for injury. Common training patterns are biased toward large muscle groups such as the pectorals and deltoids but neglect muscles responsible for stabilization such as the external rotators and lower trapezius. Exercise selection that mitigates strength and mobility imbalances may serve to prevent injury in this population. Clinicians and strength and conditioning professionals should consider the biomechanical stresses and adaptations associated with RWT when prescribing upper-extremity exercises.


Medicine and Health Sciences


Adult, Anthropometry, Case-Control Studies, Middle Aged, Muscle Contraction, Muscle Strength, Posture, Range of Motion, Articular, Reference Values, Reproducibility of Results, Resistance Training, Sensitivity and Specificity, Shoulder Joint, Weight Lifting, Weight-Bearing, Young Adult

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