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Damla Karabay, Yusuf Emük and Derya Özer Kaya

Context: Selective strengthening of scapular stabilizers is one of the emphases of the recent literature. Closed kinetic chain (CKC) exercises are used extensively in shoulder rehabilitation. However, a limited number of studies have reported scapular muscle ratios during CKC exercises. Objectives: To determine the CKC exercises producing the optimal ratios of the scapular stabilizer muscles in healthy shoulders. Evidence Acquisition: A systematic search within PubMed, Embase, CINAHL Plus, and SPORTDiscus with Full Text and ULAKBIM National Medical Database was performed up to January 2018. Studies were selected according to the predetermined criteria. If the pooled mean ratios (upper trapezius [UT]/middle trapezius [MT], UT/lower trapezius [LT], and UT/serratus anterior [SA]), which were calculated from the percentage of maximum voluntary contractions of muscles, were <0.60, these exercises were considered as ideal for higher activation of the MT, LT, and SA than the UT. Evidence Synthesis: The search identified 1284 studies, and 29 observational studies were included for review. Seventy-nine CKC exercises were determined. Four exercises for the MT, 9 for the LT, and 59 for the SA were identified from the articles as being optimal exercises to activate the specified muscle more than the UT. Conclusions: This review identified optimal CKC exercises that provide good ratios between the MT, LT, and SA with the UT. Most exercises have optimal UT/SA ratios, but some exercises performed on unstable surfaces may lead to excessive activation of the UT relative to the SA. For the UT/MT, the isometric low row, inferior glide, and half supine pull-up with slings are the ideal exercises. Isometric one-hand knee push-up variations seem to be the best choice for the UT/LT. The results suggest that many CKC exercises may be utilized to enhance scapular muscle balance when rehabilitating shoulder pathology.

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Derya Ozer Kaya, Irem Duzgun, Gul Baltaci, Selma Karacan and Filiz Colakoglu


To assess and compare the effects of 6 mo of Pilates and calisthenics on multijoint coordination and proprioception of the lower limbs at the 3rd and 6th mo of training.


Randomized, controlled, assessor-blinded, repeated-measures.


University research laboratory.

Participants and Intervention:

Healthy, sedentary, female participants age 25–50 y were recruited and randomly divided into 3 groups: a calisthenic exercise group (n = 34, mean age ± SD 40 ± 8 y, body-mass index [BMI] 31.04 ± 4.83 kg/m2), a Pilates exercise group (n = 32, mean age ± SD 37 ± 8 y, BMI 31.04 ± 4.83 kg/m2), and a control group (n = 41, mean age ± SD 41 ± 7 y, BMI 27.09 ± 4.77 kg/m2). The calisthenics and Pilates groups underwent related training programs for 6 mo, while the controls had no specific training.

Main Outcome Measures:

Coordination and proprioception of the lower extremities with concentric and eccentric performances in the closed kinetic chain assessed with the monitored rehab functional squat system at baseline and at the 3rd and 6th mo of training.


For the within-group comparison, coordinative concentric and eccentric deviation values were significantly decreased for both dominant and nondominant lower limbs at pretraining and at the 3rd and 6th mo posttraining in the calisthenics group (P < .05). In contrast, there was no improvement in the Pilates group throughout the training. However, for comparisons between groups, the baseline values of coordinative concentric and eccentric deviations were different in the calisthenics group than in Pilates and the controls (P < .05). There were no differences in the proprioception values of either visible or nonvisible movement in any group throughout the training (P > .05).


It seems that calisthenic exercises are more likely to improve coordination of the lower extremity after 3 and 6 mo of training than Pilates exercises. Calisthenic exercises may be useful for individuals who require improved coordination.