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When the upper extremity is injured, open kinetic chain (OKC) exercises are primarily used to increase strength and restore functional ability—the goals of rehabilitation. It is also imperative, however, that the receptors responsible for static and dynamic stabilization of the joint be trained. This can be done with closed kinetic chain (CKC) exercises. The purposes of this study were to investigate the effect of a 4-week CKC training program on the neuromuscular control of the upper extremity and to determine whether there was a significant difference between skill-dominant limb and nondominant limb stability indices. Thirty-two physically active participants (14 men, 18 women) were tested on the FASTEX 4 weeks apart. The training group's scores significantly improved, whereas the control group's scores remained the same. It was concluded that the CKC training significantly improved the training group's ability to remain stable. The results suggest that CKC training can increase the accuracy of joint position sense because of increased stimulation of the mechanoreceptors.
Mary E. Ubinger is an assistant athletic trainer at the Virginia Military Institute, Lexington, VA 24450. William E. Prentice and Kevin M. Guskiewicz are with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC 27599: Prentice is director of the Sports Medicine Research Laboratory, and Guskiewicz a professor and coordinator of the Sports Medicine Program, Department of Physical Education, Exercise and Sports Science.