Leah E. Allen1, Harry P. Cintineo1, Petey W. Mumford1, Patrick S. Harty1, & Kyle L. Sunderland1

1Lindenwood University, St. Charles, Missouri

The Athletic Shoulder (ASH) test was developed to measure force across the shoulder girdle to assess and monitor isometric strength in athletes. To our knowledge, no research data regarding the ASH test have been published examining collegiate men’s volleyball. PURPOSE: To compare shoulder girdle force production in the dominant serving arm (DA) and non-dominant serving arm (NA) in two different arm positions. METHODS: Collegiate male volleyball athletes (N=19) participated in this cross-sectional study. Participants underwent two separate bilateral ASH test familiarization sessions prior to testing. Following a standardized warm-up, participants laid prone with each hand positioned on a force plate platform (Hawkin Dynamics, Westbrook, ME). Three bilateral maximal isometric contractions at 180º of shoulder abduction (i.e., “I”) were completed followed by three contractions at 135º of shoulder abduction (i.e., “Y”) with 30 seconds rest between contractions. Peak force was measured for each trial with maximal peak and mean force of the 3 trials calculated for analysis. Repeated measures analysis was used to assess interactions between positions (“I” vs. “Y”) and arm (DA vs. NA; α = 0.05). RESULTS: There were no significant interactions for maximal (p = 0.638) or mean (p = 0.588) peak force production between arms in the different positions. Additionally, no significant main effects were observed between positions or arms for maximal or mean peak force (p > 0.05). “I” position maximal peak force DA and NA was 104 ± 22 N and 102 ± 21 N, respectively. Similarly, “Y” position maximal peak force for the DA and NA was 107 ± 27 N and 103 ± 28 N, respectively. In terms of mean peak force, DA and NA produced 98 ± 21 N and 96 ± 20 N, respectively, in the “I” position and 99 ± 24 N 95 ± 25 N, respectively, in the “Y” position. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study to report descriptive data for the ASH test in collegiate male volleyball players. These data can serve as useful metrics for practitioners to collect for comparative analyses within their teams. Additionally, these data reveal that collegiate male volleyball athletes have no detectable isometric force asymmetries between their arms, regardless of the arm position. Future research should investigate the potential injury risks if asymmetries were to exist in this population.

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