Electromyographic information was obtained from seven right shoulder complex muscles in nine subjects (three normal, three paraplegic, and three quadriplegic) during the occupational therapy activity of bilateral sanding on an incline board, an activity that has been recommended as a treatment modality to strengthen the triceps brachii. Electromyography revealed that the anterior and middle portions of the deltoid were the muscles most responsible for the subjects’ arm movements during both resisted and unresisted bilateral sanding. Triceps lateralis and medialis were also active during the up phase, but not as consistently as the deltoid. Pectoralis major and biceps brachii were not extensively active in most subjects. The small size and heterogeneity of the subject sample limits the generalizations of our findings. However, graded resisted bilateral sanding does appear to be an appropriate activity for strengthening the shoulder muscle group, especially the deltoid and triceps brachii, in the tested patient populations.

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