Influence of sports discipline on shoulder rotator cuff balance

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1997 Nov;29(11):1400-5. doi: 10.1097/00005768-199711000-00002.


Isokinetic shoulder rotational strength was evaluated in four groups of subjects as follows: 12 nonathletes, 12 runners, 15 tennis players, and 12 baseball players for a total of 51 subjects. The tests were performed in the seated 45 degrees abducted test position in the scapular plane at 60, 180, and 300 degrees.s-1 for both shoulders. Peak torque and mean power values were gathered, and from these values the internal/external rotation ratios were calculated. Intergroup comparison showed a progression of the ratio related to the sports discipline. The nonathletes and runners had ratios close to those reported for nonathletes (1.3 to 1.5). The tennis players had ratios close to 1.5, whereas the baseball players had ratios from 1.6 to 2.2. The comparison between dominant and nondominant side showed no significant differences in the tennis players and higher values for the dominant side in the nonathletes and runners under certain conditions (180 degrees.s-1 for the nonathletes and 300 degrees.s-1 for the runners). Regarding the baseball players, the ratio was systematically higher for the dominant side. These results raise questions about the influence of sports discipline on the internal/external rotator muscle ratio and indicate the need to establish normative values based on the characteristics of the population under study.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physical Fitness*
  • Range of Motion, Articular
  • Rotator Cuff / physiology*
  • Sports / physiology*