PURPOSE: Excessive activity of the upper trapezius (UT) muscle contributes to a rounded shoulder posture (RSP) through abnormal rotation of the scapula that weakens the lower trapezius (LT) and serratus anterior (SA) muscles. This study compared the effects of two arm-lifting exercises with and without the use of a Thera-band on the activities of LT, SA, and UT muscles, and the LT/UT and SA/UT activity ratio in subjects with a rounded shoulder posture.
METHODS: Sixteen subjects with RSP participated in this study. All subjects performed arm-lifting (AL), diagonal arm-lifting (DAL), arm lifting with isometric adduction (ALIA), and diagonal arm-lifting with isometric adduction (DALIA) exercises. The surface electromyography data, LT, SA, UT, and the LT/UT and SA/UT activity ratios were measured. A paired t-test was used to compare the differences between two arm-lifting exercises and two arm lifting with isometric adduction exercises.
RESULTS: In ALIA and DALIA exercises, the UT muscle activity decreased significantly, whereas the LT/UT, SA/UT activity ratio increased significantly. The activity of SA muscle increased significantly more with DALIA than that with DAL.
CONCLUSION: Arm-lifting exercises using a Thera-band can be implemented as an effective way to reduce the UT overactivity and increase the SA activity and LT/UT, SA/UT activity ratio in subjects with RSP.