Strength Training – Upper Limb
Strengthening the muscles in the upper limbs is important as these muscles are used on an everyday basis. Studies indicate that strength training for the upper limb muscles results in moderate improvements in upper limb strength (for further details (see O’Shea 2004). A relationship has been shown between upper limb strength and upper limb work capacity for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease which suggests that having stronger upper limb muscles may help patients perform functional tasks (i.e. by enhancing the strength of the biceps and triceps muscles).
The studies that have examined strength training for the upper limbs have focused on the accessory muscles of inspiration and muscle groups used in everyday functional tasks.
These muscles include:
- Pectoralis major
- Latissimus doris
Upper limb strength training can be combined with upper limb endurance training in a comprehensive program in order to gain the benefits from both modes of training. Arm endurance capacity has been shown to be greater following combined endurance and strength training than from endurance training alone (see Panton 2004)