Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Physical Therapy (MPT)


Physical Therapy

First Advisor

Thomas Mohr


Electromyography; Exercise Therapy; Shoulder -- physiology


Codman's exercises are commonly used in physical therapy as a supposed passive shoulder activity to help increase range of motion without causing detrimental damage to the injured tissue or surgical graft. These mild shoulder exercises are often the first exercises used post- operatively. Some clinicians often add a weight to the hand or wrist with the assumption that the distraction will decrease the impingement between the acromion and the shoulder musculature while performing these exercises. The purpose of this study is to determine the level of muscle activity within the shoulder musculature during Codman's exercises with and without the addition of a weight. Ten healthy, male students from the University of North Dakota volunteered to participate in the study. The electromyographic (EMG) activity was collected during trials of Cod man's exercise with and without a cuff weight from the following muscles: anterior deltoid, middle deltoid, posterior deltoid, triceps, biceps, and supraspinatus using surface electrodes. Performing Codman's exercises with and without a two pound weight showed minimal muscular activity. No significant differences were found between the activity without a weight and with a weight. Codman's exercise was shown to produce minimal muscular activity; however, it is important for therapists to know the correct technique and to know how to adequately explain and demonstrate Codman's exercise to their patients. Further research is needed in this area to compare the muscle activity during Codman's exercise with muscle activity during other passive activities.