Context: The wall slide exercise is commonly used in clinic and research settings. Theraband positioning variations for hip exercises are investigated and used, but theraband positioning variations for upper extremity wall slide exercise, though not commonly used, are not investigated.
Objective: To investigate the effect of different theraband positions (elbow and wrist) on scapular and shoulder muscles' activation in wall slide exercises and compare them to the regular wall slide exercise for the upper limbs.
Study Design: Descriptive Laboratory Study.
Setting: University Laboratory
Patients or Other Participants: 20 participants with healthy shoulders
Interventions: Participants performed regular and two different variations of wall slide exercises (theraband at wrist and theraband at elbow) in randomized order.
Main Outcome Measures: Surface EMG activity of the trapezius muscles (upper [UT], middle [MT], and lower trapezius [LT]), infraspinatus (IS), middle deltoid (MD), and serratus anterior (SA).
Results: Regular wall slide exercise elicited low activity in MD and moderate activity in SA muscles (32% MVIC), while theraband at wrist and elbow variations elicited low activity in MT, LT, IS, and MD muscles and moderate activity in SA muscles (46% and 34% MVICs, respectively). UT activation was absent to minimal (0–15% MVIC) in all wall slide exercise variations. Theraband at wrist produced lower UT/MT, UT/LT, and UT/SA levels.
Conclusion: In shoulder rehabilitation, clinicians desiring to activate scapular stabilization muscles should consider using theraband at wrist variation; clinicians desiring to achieve more shoulder abduction activation and less scapular stabilization should consider theraband at elbow variation of upper extremity wall slide exercise.