Targeted gripping reduces shoulder muscle activity and variability
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The purpose of this study was to determine if the effect of visually targeted gripping on shoulder muscle activity was maintained with repeated exposures. Eleven healthy males had eight shoulder muscles monitored via surface electromyography while maintaining shoulder elevation at 90° in the scapular plane with and without a 30% grip force. Three non-gripping trials were followed by 15 gripping trials and another 3 non-gripping control trials. Gripping significantly decreased the activity of the anterior deltoid, trapezius, and latissimus dorsi over the exposure of 15 trials. Gripping also reduced variability in all muscles' activity. The changes in shoulder muscle activity are likely in response to forces being transferred through multi-articular muscles spanning from the forearm to the shoulder. Targeted gripping during shoulder elevation resulted in small but significant decreases in muscle activity and reduced variability which supports previous evidence for increased risk of upper extremity disorders in occupational settings.
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