Imbalance in shoulder-rotator muscles has been considered a risk factor for injuries in handball. Strength training programs (STPs) may play an important preventive role.
To verify the effects of an STP using elastic bands on shoulder muscles and ball-throwing speed.
Randomized and prospective controlled trial.
Exercise physiology laboratory.
Thirty-nine female handball players were randomly assigned to an experimental (EG, n = 21, 15.3 ± 1.1 y) or a control (CG, n = 18, 15.0 ± 0.8 y) group.
The EG performed the STP with elastic-band progressive exercises for 6 wk before regular handball training, and the CG underwent only their regular training.
Main Outcome Measures:
Before and after the STP, both groups underwent a ball-throwing-speed test and isokinetic test to assess shoulder internal- (IR) and external-rotator muscle performance.
Average power values for IR muscles presented a significant group-vs-time interaction effect (F = 3.9, P = .05); EG presented significantly higher values after the STP (P = .03). Ball speed presented higher values in EG after the STP in standing (P = .04) and jumping (P = .03) throws. IR peak-torque values and balance in shoulder-rotator muscles presented no group-vs-time interaction effect.
STP using elastic bands performed for 6 wk was effective to improve muscle power and ball speed for young female handball players.