The aim of this study was to investigate muscle activation and perceived loading during upper-extremity resistance exercises with dumbbells compared with elastic tubing. Sixteen female workers (aged 26-55 years) without serious musculoskeletal diseases and with a mean neck and shoulder pain intensity of 7.8 on a 100-mm visual analog scale participated in the study. Measurements Electromyographic (EMG) activity was measured in 5 selected muscles during the exercises of lateral raise, wrist extension, and shoulder external rotation during graded loadings with dumbbells (2-7.5 kg) and elastic tubing (Thera-Band, red to silver resistance). The order of exercises and loadings was randomized for each individual. Electromyographic amplitude was normalized to the absolute maximum EMG amplitude obtained during maximal voluntary isometric contraction and exercise testing. Immediately after each set of exercise, the Borg CR10 scale was used to rate perceived loading during the exercise.
Comparably high levels of muscle activation were obtained during resistance exercises with dumbbells and elastic tubing, indicating that therapists can choose either type in clinical practice. The Borg CR10 can be a useful aid in estimating intensity of individual rehabilitation protocols.
Andersen LL, Andersen CH, Mortensen OS, Poulsen OM, BjÃ¸rnlund IB, Zebis MK. Muscle Activation and Perceived Loading During Rehabilitation Exercises: Comparison of Dumbbells and Elastic Resistance. Phys Ther. 2010 Feb 4; online article ahead of print