Isokinetic torque imbalances in the rotator cuff of the elite water polo player

Am J Sports Med. Jan-Feb 1991;19(1):72-5. doi: 10.1177/036354659101900112.


The specific repetitive activity of water polo, like baseball pitching, emphasizes adduction and internal rotation. This study used the Cybex II to evaluate the isokinetic strength of the rotator cuff in elite water polo players and in a group of control subjects. The water polo players were significantly stronger than the controls. Of greater importance was the confirmation of imbalances in the rotator cuff force couples of adduction/abduction and external/internal rotation. These changes are similar to those reported for pitchers. The adductors in the water polo group had gained in relative strength resulting in an increase in the adduction/abduction ratio to about 2:1. The internal rotators had gained in relative strength resulting in a decrease in the external/internal ratio to about 0.6:1. For both force couples the differences are more apparent at a slow speed. Side-to-side differences were not significant.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / etiology
  • Cumulative Trauma Disorders / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Muscles / physiology*
  • Range of Motion, Articular / physiology*
  • Shoulder Joint / physiology*
  • Sports*
  • Swimming
  • Tendinopathy / etiology
  • Tendinopathy / physiopathology
  • Water


  • Water