Difference in isokinetic torque acceleration energy of the rotator cuff: competitive male pitchers versus male nonathletes

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Manske, Robert C.
Tajchman, Casey S.
Stranghoner, Todd A.
Ellenbecker, Todd S.

Journal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength & Conditioning Association. 2004 Aug; 18(3): 447-50.


Rotator cuff function is critical to the overhead athlete. Rotator cuff power is felt to be important in the overhead athlete during the throwing motion. Little research exists regarding torque acceleration energy (TAE) in overhead athletes. Twenty-five males were divided into 2 groups consisting of overhead athletes (pitchers) (n = 12) and nonoverhead athletes (controls) (n = 13). All participants were given a concentric velocity spectrum isokinetic test at speeds of 60 degrees (1.05 r), 180 degrees (3.16 r), and 300 degrees.s(-1) (5.26 r) to both the dominant and nondominant shoulder internal and external rotators. Significant differences were found for all internal rotator TAE scores (p = 0.000-0.016), at each of the 3 velocities, when comparing dominant to nondominant arms of both overhead athletes and nonoverhead athletes. Only 60 degrees.s(-1) (1.05 r) was found to be different during external rotation TAE testing of the overhead athletes (p = 0.027) but was not found in the control subjects. Post hoc analysis revealed no differences between dominant or nondominant TAE scores when comparisons were made between overhead athletes and controls. Results may reveal that power of the rotator cuff muscles may not be a critical component of the overhead throwing motion.

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