Date of Award


Document Type



Richard W.Riley College of Education

Degree Program

Physical Education, Sport, and Human Performance

Degree Name

Master of Science

Thesis Advisor

Alice McLaine

Committee Member

Dan Drane

Committee Member

Charles Bowers


Division I overhead athletes put themselves at risk for injury due to factors such as fatigue, instability, range of motion difficulties, and strengthening deficits and hypertrophies throughout their careers. Injuries that occur at the collegiate level can have a permanent effect on an athlete’s way of life. Because the shoulder is one of the most commonly affected by overuse in collegiate sports, the purpose of this study was to determine if strength and range of motion correlated with injury. Determining whether or not there are correlations to injury, strengthening and stretching programs could be valuable preventative treatments to implement on overhead Division I teams. In order to obtain an athlete’s demographic and injury history, a survey was completed to determine factors such as injury type, number of years played, and what types of stretching techniques, if any, were being implemented. The athlete’s internal and external rotation strength was then measured using a Biodex, with the elbow and shoulder flexed at 90 degrees. The athlete’s range of motion was obtained through goniometer measurements, with the athlete lying supine and the shoulder and elbow flexed at 90 degrees. Results showed significant values between external rotation strength at 180 degrees/second and injury type and significance between external rotation strength at 300 degrees/second and injury type. These results determined that external rotation is a leading factor in relation to injury in these athletes. A positive correlation between external rotation peak torque and injury type shows that external rotation strength could be a risk factor for injuries. Although there were no correlations or significance between internal rotation range of motion and internal rotation peak torque values, a larger sample size could produce alternate results. This information can help determine if the amount of injury or injury risk can be reduced by adding stretching programs to daily practice routines and targeting different shoulder muscles to train based on muscle imbalances.


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