Isokinetic profile of elbow flexor and extensor muscles in climbers and non-climbers

Isokinetic profile of elbow flexor and extensor muscles in climbers and non-climbers


Hilla Sarig Bahat, Ofer Blutich and Einat Kodesh,


The Department of Physical Therapy, University of Haifa, Israel



Journal of Novel Physiotherapies





Sport climbing places high mechanical demand on the elbow, which is the third most common region to be injured in climbing. It has been suggested that overuse injuries are associated with disrupted muscle balance. However, little is known about the muscle balance around the elbow.


To investigate moment and work profile of the elbow flexors and extensors in climbers and non-climbers.


Climbers (n=16) and non-climbers (n=18) volunteered to participate in the study. Each participant was examined bilaterally for concentric elbow flexion and extension muscle forces. Experimental equipment included the isokinetic dynamometer at speeds of 60°/sec and 180°/sec. Outcome measures included peak moment, average moment, total work and average work. Flexion/extension ratio was calculated for all measures.



Elbow extensor muscles were significantly stronger than the elbow flexors in both groups (p<0.001), with a flexor/extensor total work ratio ranging from 0.76-0.86. Surprisingly, no significant group differences were found for any measure between climbers and non-climbers.
Conclusion: This study did not demonstrate a difference in elbow muscle work and moment between climbers and non-climbers, but did show elbow extensors were stronger than flexors. It may be that isokinetic testing is not sensitive to the functional strength developed in climbing and further research is needed to integrate additional functional strength evaluations.



Elbow; Isokinetic work; Climbers; Muscle force ratio


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© 2019 Bahat HS, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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