This paper reviews the role of body and joint position during isokinetic exercise and testing. Due to the frequent implementation of isokinetic devices, it is important to examine the methodology of their use. Positioning of the subject and the target joint is a critical component of the methodology. The literature reveals significant relationships between the position of the subject and outcome measures such as torque, agonist-antagonist ratios, peak torque to body weight ratios, and reliability. These relationships are evidenced at the larger joints of the lower extremity, such as the hip, knee, and ankle, in addition to the shoulder joint of the upper extremity. Therefore, it behooves clinicians to review research regarding the effect of varied body and joint positions on outcome measures and regarding the relevance of specific positions to the predetermined goals.
Donna D. Smith is a graduate student at the University of Indianapolis Krannert Graduate School of Physical Therapy and is with Physical Performance Center, 5050 N. Clinton, Fort Wayne, IN 46825.