Lisa Muhitch

Date of Award


Document Type

Access Controlled Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Peter McGinnis, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Joy Hendrick, Ph.D.

Third Advisor

Jeff Bauer, Ph.D.


The purpose of this study was to compare average and peak muscle activation when using free weights and Thera-Band® in the completion of three selected shoulder rehabilitation exercises. More specifically the purpose was to compare the average and average peak normalized rms EMG of the anterior deltoid during shoulder flexion, the middle deltoid during shoulder abduction, and the biceps brachii during elbow flexion with a 10 pound dumbbell or with a black Thera- Band.® Eight male subjects voluntarily participated in this study. Each subject completed 2 sets of three repetitions each with a 10 pound weight and a black piece of Thera- Band®. Surface electromyography recorded the muscle activation of the anterior deltoid, middle deltoid, and biceps brachii muscles. A paired samples T-test was used to compare the level of muscle activation between the two rehabilitation tools. No significant differences were found between the paired samples test. Significant values were found for the paired samples correlation test for the middle deltoid average activity, biceps brachii average activity, and biceps brachii peak activity. It was concluded that neither device produced significantly higher muscle activation levels than the other, therefore leading to the assumption that both rehabilitation tools affect a working muscle in the same manner.