Effects of Core-Musculature Fatigue on Maximal Shoulder Strength

in Journal of Sport Rehabilitation
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Core stability has been shown to affect lower-extremity motion, but activation of the core has also been observed just before movements of the upper extremity. However, there is limited evidence regarding the effects that core musculature has on upper-extremity strength.


To determine the effects of core fatigue on maximal shoulder strength.


Crossover study.


Sports-medicine research laboratory.


23 participants (15 male and 8 female, age 21.3 ± 2.5 y, height 174.5 ± 10.3 cm, weight 71.3 ± 12.0 kg).


All participants performed maximal voluntary isometric contractions in 3 different planes (sagittal, frontal, transverse) of shoulder-joint motion. A core-fatiguing protocol was conducted, and the same 3 shoulder-strength tests were repeated and compared with the initial measurements.

Main Outcome Measures:

Strength measures were recorded in kilograms with a dynamometer.


Results showed a significant decrease in strength in the frontal (−0.56 ± 1.06 kg, P = .020) and transverse (−0.89 ± 1.49 kg, P = .012) planes but not in the sagittal plane (−0.20 ± 0.98 kg, P > .05). Furthermore, regardless of the specific strength test measured, results revealed that the 1st (−7.05% ± 11.65%, P = .012) and 2nd (−5.71% ± 12.03%, P = .042) strength-test measurements after the fatiguing protocol were significantly decreased, while the 3rd strength-test measurement (−4.19% ± 12.48%, P = .140) did not show statistical significance.


These results indicate that decrease in core stability may have an influence on shoulder strength. The literature suggests that the core is designed for endurance, and this study helps validate its recovery properties. Further research is needed to determine the significance of this effect and how injury rates coincide.

Rosemeyer is with the Sports Medicine Dept, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC. Hayes, Switzler, and Hicks-Little are with the Exercise and Sport Science Dept, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT.

Address author correspondence to Charlie Hicks-Little at charlie.hickslittle@hsc.utah.edu.