Shoulder rotation strength changes from preseason to midseason: A cohort study of 292 youth elite handball players without shoulder problems

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  • Behnam Liaghat, University of Southern Denmark
  • ,
  • Jesper Bencke, University of Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Mette K. Zebis, University College Copenhagen
  • ,
  • Henrik Sørensen
  • Grethe Myklebust, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences
  • ,
  • Niels Wedderkopp, University of Southern Denmark
  • ,
  • Martin Lind
  • Merete Møller, University of Southern Denmark

U OBJECTIVE: To investigate change in shoulder rotation strength from preseason to midseason during a competitive season in youth elite handball players without shoulder problems. U DESIGN: Prospective cohort study. U METHODS: Players (n = 292, 45% female, 14-18 years of age) without shoulder problems from Danish youth elite handball clubs were assessed in the preseason and midseason. We measured isometric shoulder strength using handheld dynamometry in internal rotation (IR) and external rotation (ER) in supine, with the shoulder abducted 90° in neutral rotation and in 30° of IR. The primary outcome was the change in corresponding ER/IR ratio. U RESULTS: The mean ER/IR ratios increased from preseason to midseason in neutral rotation (male player difference, 0.02; 95% confidence interval [CI]: –0.01, 0.06; female player difference, 0.05; 95% CI: 0.01, 0.09) and in 30° of IR (male player difference, 0.15; 95% CI: 0.11, 0.20; female player difference, 0.12; 95% CI: 0.07, 0.17). The change in ER/IR ratio may be explained by an increase in ER strength in female players and a decrease in IR strength in male players. The amount of change in ER/IR ratio over the season was greater than individual measurement error metrics for 45% to 66% of the players. U CONCLUSION: Shoulder rotation strength ratios changed during a competitive season in Danish youth elite handball players.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy
Pages (from-to)381-387
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020

    Research areas

  • Adolescent, Handball, Handheld dynamometry, Normative reference values, Shoulder strength

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