Despite the modern advancement of surgical repair equipment and techniques, many rotator cuff repairs do not clinically heal. Prescribed rehabilitative exercises must appropriately load the repaired muscle-tendon complex to promote healing and prevent capsular adhesions without damaging the repair. The clinician must possess an understanding of the anatomy and physiology of the healing rotator cuff, and understand the importance of the plane of movement, speed of the movement, position of the extremity, level of assistance, and type of resistance used. Electromyography (EMG) provides a useful means to determine muscle activation levels during specific exercises. Descriptions of specific exercises and EMG activation as they relate to the rotator cuff muscles are described. The specific performance of the exercises, the reliability of such EMG measures, and the descriptive figures are described. Practicing clinicians will benefit from the correct interpretation of the EMG data, and how it can be used in the exercise prescription when formulating a treatment plan.

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Published in Journal of Exercise Physiologyonline, v. 19, no. 3, p. 70-99.

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