Quality assessment of shoulder plyometric exercises: Examining the relationship to scapular muscle activity

Phys Ther Sport. 2017 Jul;26:27-34. doi: 10.1016/j.ptsp.2017.05.002. Epub 2017 May 12.


Objectives: The purpose of the study was to evaluate performance quality of shoulder plyometric exercises, and examine the relationship to scapular muscle activation during an intense exercise bout.

Design: Observational study.

Setting: University laboratory.

Participants: 32 healthy university students (male/female: 14/18) volunteers.

Main outcome measures: Subjects performed 10 plyometric exercises. Surface EMG of upper (UT), middle (MT) and lower (LT) trapezius and serratus anterior (SA) was registered. A quality assessment questionnaire was administered at the beginning and end of the exercise bout. Muscle activation at the beginning and end was evaluated by t-test. Mixed repeated measures ANOVA was conducted to test the effects of criterion-quality, time, muscles, exercises, and their interactions.

Results: Increased EMG activation was noted in 34/40 cases, (21/40 significant (p < 0.05) changes). Quality assessment revealed a decline in the ability to maintain initial position (43% of subjects), failure to keep a consistent and symmetrical arc of motion (62% of subjects), and performance with trick movements (48% of subjects). Inability to keep a consistent arc of motion was significant in 4 exercises.

Conclusions: The novel questionnaire may aid quality assessment during plyometric exercises. Ability to keep a consistent arc of motion was the most sensitive marker of decline of performance quality.

Keywords: Plyometric exercise; Quality assessment; Scapular muscles; Shoulder.

MeSH terms

  • Electromyography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Plyometric Exercise*
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Shoulder / physiology*
  • Superficial Back Muscles / physiology*
  • Young Adult