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Michael E. Powers

This paper reviews the role of the rotator cuff during two key phases of the pitching sequence and presents a training program for these muscles. The program uses a periodization design consisting of three stages, beginning with a high-resistance/low-repetition eccentric strengthening stage. This is followed by a low-resistance/high-repetition stage for training muscular endurance. The core exercises for these two stages are prone external rotation in the 90/90 position, prone horizontal abduction, side-lying D2 flexion pattern, supine internal rotation in the 90/90 position, prone elevation with 100° of shoulder abduction and external rotation, and standing scapular plane elevation. The final stage of the program uses high-speed functional exercises: 90/90 external rotation, 90/90 internal rotation, D2 PNF flexion pattern, D2 PNF extension pattern, supine plyometric 90/90 internal rotation with a medicine ball, and the “arm whip” through the D2 PNF flexion pattern. The goal of this program is to prepare the muscles for the stresses of pitching and prevent shoulder injuries.

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Susan Miniello, Geoffrey Dover, Michael Powers, Mark Tillman and Erik Wikstrom

Context:

Previous studies have suggested that cryotherapy affects neuromuscu-lar function and therefore might impair dynamic stability. If cryotherapy affects dynamic stability, clinicians might alter their decisions regarding returning athletes to play immediately after treatment.

Objective:

To assess the effects of lower leg cold immersion on muscle activity and dynamic stability of the lower extremity.

Design:

Within-subject time-series design with 1 pretest and 2 posttests.

Setting:

A climate-controlled biomechanics laboratory.

Participants:

17 healthy women.

Interventions:

20-minute cold-water immersion.

Main Outcome Measures:

Preparatory and reactive electromyographic activity of the tibialis anterior and peroneus longus and time to stabilization after a jump landing.

Results:

Preparatory activity of the tibialis anterior increased after treatment, whereas preparatory and reactive peroneus longus activity decreased. Both returned to baseline after a 5-minute recovery. Time to stabilization did not change.

Conclusions:

Lower leg cold-immersion therapy does not impair dynamic stability in healthy women during a jump-landing task. Return to participation after a cryotherapy treatment is not contraindicated for healthy athletes.

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Michael E. Powers, Bernadette D. Buckley, Thomas W. Kaminski, Tricia J. Hubbard and Cindy Ortiz

Context:

The combined effects of strength and proprioception training, especially in individuals with ankle instability, have not been studied extensively.

Objective:

To examine the influence of 6 weeks of strength and proprioception training on measures of muscle fatigue and static balance in those with unilateral functional ankle instability (FAI).

Design:

Pretest–posttest, randomized groups.

Setting:

A climate-controlled sports-medicine research laboratory.

Subjects:

38 subjects with self-reported unilateral FAI.

Measurements:

Muscle fatigue was determined using the median power frequency (f med) from an electromyographic signal, and static balance was assessed using center-of-pressure values obtained from a triaxial force plate.

Results:

There were no significant effects of the strength or proprioception training on our measures of muscle fatigue and static balance.

Conclusions:

Strength training, proprioception training, and the combination of the 2 failed to improve postural-stability characteristics in a group of subjects with FAI.

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Thomas W. Kaminski, Michael E. Powers and Bernadette Buckley