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Clin Orthop Relat Res. 1990 Aug;(257):76-85.

Muscle activity and coordination in the normal shoulder. An electromyographic study.

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Karolinska Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.


Muscle activity and coordination in ten shoulders were studied in five healthy subjects using electromyography (EMG) recorded during standardized loaded movements, i.e., flexion, extension, abduction, external rotation, and internal rotation at 0 degrees, 45 degrees, and 90 degrees of abduction. Bipolar surface and intramuscular fine-wire electrodes were used, and the EMG signal was low-pass filtered, full-wave rectified, and time-averaged. Activity from the subscapularis, supraspinatus, infraspinatus, pectoralis major (sternoclavicular part), the anterior, middle, and posterior parts of the deltoid, and the latissimus dorsi was recorded in parallel. In order to allow a comparison of the activity in a subject's different muscles and the activity in specific muscles between different individuals, the EMG was normalized. Muscle activity occurred simultaneously in muscles producing the movement and in antagonistic muscles. Coordination due to muscle contractions plays a significant role in stabilizing the shoulder joint. The infraspinatus, subscapularis, and latissimus dorsi acted as stabilizers during flexion; the subscapularis acted as a stabilizer during external rotation and with the supraspinatus during extension.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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