Shoulder kinematics during the wall push-up plus exercise

Jason B. Lunden, Jonathan P. Braman, Robert F. LaPrade, Paula M. Ludewig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations


Background and hypothesis: The push-up plus exercise is a common therapeutic exercise for improving shoulder function and treating shoulder pathology. To date, the kinematics of the push-up plus exercise have not been studied. Our hypothesis was that the wall push-up plus exercise would demonstrate increased scapular internal rotation and increased humeral anterior translation during the plus phase of the exercise, thereby potentially impacting the subacromial space. Methods: Bone pins were inserted in the humerus and scapula in 12 healthy volunteers with no history of shoulder pathology. In vivo motion during the wall push-up plus exercise was tracked using an electromagnetic tracking system. Results: During the wall push-up plus exercise, from a starting position to the push-up plus position, there was a significant increase in scapular downward rotation (P < .05) and internal rotation (P < .05). The pattern of glenohumeral motion was humeral elevation (P < .05) and movement anterior to the scapular plane (P < .05), with humeral external rotation remaining relatively constant. Conclusion: We found that during a wall push-up plus exercise in healthy volunteers, the scapula was placed in a position potentially associated with shoulder impingement. Because of the shoulder kinematics of the wall push-up plus exercise, utilization of this exercise without modification early on in shoulder rehabilitation, especially in patients with subacromial impingement, should be considered cautiously.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)216-223
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Shoulder and Elbow Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2010

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