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Romanian Society for Sports Medicine

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"Sport Medicine Journal" No.15 - 2008

Shoulder muscle activation during push up variations: an emg analysis

Shweta S, Shruti M, Sandhu J.S.
Department of Sports Medicine & Physiotherapy,Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, India


Background. Numerous exercises are used to strengthen muscles around the shoulder joint including pushups and pushups plus. Modifications to standard pushups are commonly used clinically which include knee pushups, elbow pushups and wall pushups. Detailed activation patterns of muscles will help in planning the rehabilitation process and the training program. Objective. To compare the myoelectric amplitude of shoulder muscles during pushup variations. Design and Methodology. Thirty healthy male subjects within age group of 20-30 years and mean height of 173.65 cm were recruited from a convenience sample of college students. Surface electromyogram was recorded from triceps, pectoralis major, serratus anterior and upper trapezius while performing push ups and push up plus exercises. Results. Triceps and pectoralis major muscles showed highest activity during push up variations.. Lowest UT/SA ratio was found in EPP both in the eccentric and the concentric phases and highest in KPP. Conclusion. SPP is the ideal exercise for strengthening TRI and PM while for patients with an imbalance of UT to SA, EPP is an ideal exercise to allow SA strengthening and reduction of imbalance. Thus muscle specific conditioning protocols can be developed which will be of benefit to patients and athletes.      

Key words:

electromyography, rehabilitation, push up, shoulder, strength.

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