Establishing Normative Data on Scapulothoracic Musculature Using Handheld Dynamometry

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Scapular strength deficits have been linked to shoulder dysfunction.


To establish normative data on the scapulothoracic musculature in normal subjects using a handheld dynamometer.


Descriptive normative data study.


Field research.


172 subjects with varying levels of overhead activity.


A handheld dynamometer was used to test the upper, middle, and lower trapezius; rhomboids; and serratus anterior.

Main Outcome Measures:

A 2-factor ANOVA was performed for each of the muscles by activity level and unilateral ratio by activity-level analyses. Post hoc analysis included multiple pairwise comparisons, using the Dunn-Bonferroni correction method.


Activity level did not significantly affect the unilateral ratios: Elevation:depression was 2.5:1, upward:downward rotation was 1.5:1, and protraction:retraction was 1.25:1. A rank order from strongest to weakest was established through significant comparisons.


The unilateral ratios along with the rank order should be considered when discussing scapular rehabilitation protocols.

Turner, Ferguson, and Mobley are practicing physical therapists who graduated from Armstrong Atlantic State University. Riemann is with the Dept of Health Sciences, and Davies, the Dept of Physical Therapy, at the university.