Shoulder strength and range-of-motion characteristics in bodybuilders

J Strength Cond Res. 2002 Aug;16(3):367-72.


The purpose of this study was to compare shoulder range-of-motion (ROM) and strength values between bodybuilders and nonbodybuilders. Fifty-four men (29 bodybuilders and 25 nonbodybuilders) between the ages of 21 and 34 years participated in the study. Goniometric measurements were used to assess shoulder flexion and internal and external rotation ROM. Isometric manual muscle tests were performed using a handheld dynamometer. Shoulder flexion, internal and external rotation, abduction, and prone shoulder retraction and elevation strength were tested. Independent t-tests were used to determine levels of statistical significance between the groups. Bodybuilders showed an overall loss of shoulder rotation ROM (166 degrees vs. 180 degrees ) and a significantly decreased internal rotation ROM (-11 degrees ) compared with the control group. Bodybuilders were significantly stronger on all isometric shoulder-strength tests than nonbodybuilders, except for the assessment of lower trapezius strength when expressed as a percentage of body weight. The results of this study indicate that bodybuilders have imbalances regarding strength and ROM at the shoulder that may make them susceptible to shoulder pathology.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology*
  • Shoulder Joint / physiology*
  • Weight Lifting / physiology*