[Purpose] This study aimed to develop a simple, inexpensive, and accurate method for measuring the strength of shoulder flexion (Experiment 1) and evaluate the bilateral force deficit in shoulder flexion (Experiment 2) in healthy subjects. [Subjects and Methods] In Experiment 1, maximal voluntary contractions (MVCs) in isometric shoulder flexion were measured on both sides using an isometric dynamometer (ID) and a hand-grip dynamometer (HGD), as an alternative dynamometer, in six subjects. In Experiment 2, bilateral force deficit was evaluated using HGD in 21 subjects who performed unilateral and bilateral MVCs in isometric flexions of the shoulder. The peak value of electromyography (PVE) in the lateral head of the biceps brachii and anterior deltoid was measured during MVCs. [Results] In Experiment 1, ID and HGD showed almost similar coefficients of variation. A strong positive correlation was found between the values obtained using the two methods. In Experiment 2, the bilateral force deficit in shoulder flexion associated with a reduced PVE (‒10.9%) was found in 85.7% of subjects. [Conclusion] The reproducibility of measurements was similar between ID and HGD. HGD could evaluate the bilateral force deficit in shoulder flexion and is a practical tool for measuring shoulder strength.
2017 by the Society of Physical Therapy Science. Published by IPEC Inc.