Strength Training Using Elastic Bands: Improvement of Muscle Power and Throwing Performance in Young Female Handball Players

J Sport Rehabil. 2017 May;26(3):245-252. doi: 10.1123/jsr.2015-0153. Epub 2016 Aug 24.


Context: Imbalance in shoulder-rotator muscles has been considered a risk factor for injuries in handball. Strength training programs (STPs) may play an important preventive role.

Objective: To verify the effects of an STP using elastic bands on shoulder muscles and ball-throwing speed.

Design: Randomized and prospective controlled trial.

Setting: Exercise physiology laboratory.

Participants: Thirty-nine female handball players were randomly assigned to an experimental (EG, n = 21, 15.3 ± 1.1 y) or a control (CG, n = 18, 15.0 ± 0.8 y) group.

Intervention: The EG performed the STP with elastic-band progressive exercises for 6 wk before regular handball training, and the CG underwent only their regular training.

Main outcome measures: Before and after the STP, both groups underwent a ball-throwing-speed test and isokinetic test to assess shoulder internal- (IR) and external-rotator muscle performance.

Results: Average power values for IR muscles presented a significant group-vs-time interaction effect (F = 3.9, P = .05); EG presented significantly higher values after the STP (P = .03). Ball speed presented higher values in EG after the STP in standing (P = .04) and jumping (P = .03) throws. IR peak-torque values and balance in shoulder-rotator muscles presented no group-vs-time interaction effect.

Conclusions: STP using elastic bands performed for 6 wk was effective to improve muscle power and ball speed for young female handball players.

Keywords: isokinetics; muscle imbalance; overhead athletes; shoulder injuries; sport rehabilitation programs.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Athletes
  • Athletic Performance / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Muscle Strength*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Resistance Training / instrumentation*
  • Shoulder / physiology*
  • Torque