Adaptations of the shoulder girdle in tennis players
During adolescence, overhead athletes develop sports-specific adaptations corresponding to the ROM and strength that is required from the shoulder complex. This study aimed to map the various adaptations as they progress over time in adolescent elite tennis players.
59 adolescent elite tennis players, divided in three age categories, underwent cross-sectional measurements of 1) scapular upward rotation; 2) isometric strength of the scapular muscles; 3) glenohumeral ROM towards internal and external rotation; and 4) isometric strength of the glenohumeral internal rotators, external rotators and supraspinatus muscle.
Tennis players above 16 years of age had less scapular upward rotation than the younger age groups. Glenohumeral rotational ROM did not differ between age groups, but side-to-side differences between the dominant and non-dominant side were present: the dominant side showed less internal rotation, more external rotation and less total rotational ROM. Moreover, although absolute strength increased with age, when strength was normalized to body weight, only the internal rotators on the dominant side of players above 16 years showed increased strength.
> From: Cools et al., J Athl Train 49 (2015) 647-653. All rights reserved to the National Athletic Trainers’ Association, Inc. Click here for the Pubmed summary.