The effects of elbow joint angle and resistance point on muscle activation of the contralateral shoulder muscles while performing the ulnar thrust PNF pattern exercise

Yeo, Bok-gi;Han, Dong-wook

  • Received : 2015.08.09
  • Accepted : 2015.08.18
  • Published : 2015.08.31


PURPOSE: This study researched the effects of the changes of elbow joint angle and of arm position in PNF pattern on muscle activation of the contralateral shoulder muscles while performing PNF pattern exercise. METHODS: The research subjects were 16 male physical therapists who had no neuromuscular or neurological disorders. To measure the muscle activation of the contralateral shoulder muscles, EMG electrodes were attached to the muscle valley of the middle and posterior areas of the deltoid and triceps muscles of the arm. Muscle activation while performing the ulnar thrust PNF pattern exercise was measured with the elbow joint positioned at angles of $30^{\circ}$, $45^{\circ}$, and $60^{\circ}$. Resistance points were at the initial, middle, and end ranges of PNF pattern exercise. RESULTS: Muscle activation of the middle and posterior portions of the deltoid muscle increased significantly according to the changes of elbow joint angle. In each resistance point the middle range was significantly higher than at other points. A significant difference on muscle activation was demonstrated throughout each range depending on the type of muscle. Muscle activation of the middle and posterior portions of the deltoid muscle was higher than muscle activation of the triceps. CONCLUSION: The results of this study demonstrate that the PNF pattern exercising method used in this study is a selective exercising method focusing on the deltoid muscle over the triceps muscle. In order to increase the muscle strength to the maximum level, it is necessary to provide the maximum level of resistance in the middle range of the elbow joint.


The ulnar thrust PNF pattern;Elbow joint angle;Muscle activation


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