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Medicina dello Sport 2019 December;72(4):596-608

DOI: 10.23736/S0025-7826.19.03601-9

Copyright © 2019 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English, Italian

Shoulder stabilization exercises and neuromuscular electrical stimulation can increase internal and external rotator muscle strength and normalize strength ratios

Bihter AKINOǦLU 1 , Tuǧba KOCAHAN 2

1 Department of Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ankara Yıldırım Beyazıt University, Ankara, Turkey; 2 The Ministry of Youth and Sports, Sports General Directorship, Ankara, Turkey


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BACKGROUND: Stabilization exercises and neuromuscular electric stimulation (NMES) have primarily been used in therapeutic settings but little is known if they may be used as potential muscle strength and sports performance enhancer. The aim of this study is to determine the effect of shoulder stabilization exercises and NMES on shoulder internal rotator (IR) and external rotator (ER) muscles’ isokinetic strength in Judo athletes.
METHODS: A total of 22 national level judo athletes were included in this comparative study. The athletes randomly divided into two groups and received either stabilization exercises and NMES with regular training program (N.=11) (study group) or only regular training program (N.=11) (control group) for six weeks (twice a week, totally 12 sessions). Muscle strength was measured isokinetically. The study evaluated shoulder internal and external muscle strength variations after six weeks. Data were analyzed in comparing baseline and post-training scores within the same group, and also between groups.
RESULTS: There was an increase in ER muscle strength at 60-240º/s in both groups and in IR strength in the study group (P<0.05). In addition, it was determined that the ER and IR muscles’ strength ratio of both groups approached closer to normal values (P<0.05). When the groups were compared with each other, it was determined that IR and ER strength increased more in the study group at both angular velocities (P<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: The addition of shoulder stabilization exercises and NMES to regular training program appears to be more effective than the regular training program alone in improving shoulder IR and ER muscle strength, and takes the IR to ER strength ratio closer to normal values in Judo athletes. To improve exercise performance, shoulder stabilization exercises and NMES should be added to the regular training program.


KEY WORDS: Electric stimulation therapy; Muscle strength; Shoulder

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