The electromyography (EMG) activity of the teres minor (TMi) and infraspinatus (IS) muscle has been demonstrated to vary depending on the arm position, such as in the coronal or scapular position, during intervention exercises. This may be reflected by different EMG activities demonstrated between the TMi and IS muscle during the acceleration and deceleration phases of the pitching motion. Tenderness in the scapular attachment site of the TMi muscle is often seen in baseball pitchers after pitching but not the attachment site of the IS muscle. However, few studies have investigated an interaction between TMi and IS muscle activity across different resistance exercises with different arm positions. The purpose of this study was to identify the feature of TMi and IS muscle activity in the presence of manual resistance applied in the prone position.
Eighteen collegiate baseball players volunteered their participation. Raw EMG amplitudes of the TMi, IS, posterior deltoid, middle deltoid, and upper trapezius muscles on the dominant shoulder were measured during intervention exercises. All subjects performed manual isometric resistance exercises: horizontal abduction (HABD) and external rotation (ER) of the glenohumeral joint with 40% of the manual maximum strength test in prone. The subjects also performed each of the HABD and ER resistance exercises with the arm actively positioned at 0° and 45° of ER of the glenohumeral joint in the coronal and scapular planes.
Both TMi and IS muscle activities significantly increased with the arm positioned at 45° of ER compared with 0° of ER regardless of the exercise (P < .05). TMi activity was significantly greater with HABD resistance than IS muscle activity regardless of the arm positions, whereas it was significantly less with ER resistance than IS muscle activity.
The findings of this study indicated that the TMi and IS muscles were most highly activated during the HABD resistance with the arm actively positioned at 45° of ER in the coronal plane. The results of this study have clinical implications regarding the careful selection of arm position in both exercise and clinical examination for the TMi and IS muscles.
Horizontal abduction exercise, Infraspinatus, Teres minor
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Masaaki Tsuruike and Todd S. Ellenbecker. "A comparison of teres minor and infraspinatus muscle activation in the prone position" JSES International (2021): 116-122. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jseint.2021.09.005