Int J Sports Med 2002; 23(6): 457-462
DOI: 10.1055/s-2002-33745
Orthopedics & Biomechanics
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Elbow Load with Various Forearm Positions During One-Handed Pushup Exercise

P.  H.  Chou1 , C.  J.  Lin2, 3 , Y.  L.  Chou2 , S.  Z.  Lou2 , F.  C.  Su2 , G.  F.  Huang2
  • 1Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Kao-hsiung Medical University, Kao-hsiung, Taiwan
  • 2Institute of Biomedical Engineering, National Cheng Kung University, Tainan, Taiwan
  • 3Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, National Cheng Kung University Medical Center, Tainan, Taiwan
Further Information

Publication History

Publication Date:
05 September 2002 (online)


This is the first study of the one-handed pushup, and tries to show the effects of forearm rotations. Previous studies of elbow loading have focused on passive loading and small loads, because data from large loads during active exercise is not easy to obtain. In order to investigate the biomechanical impact of hand position on the elbow and the potential trauma mechanisms of outstretched elbow, joint loading across the elbow was analyzed for three forearm rotational positions, neutral, 90° internal rotation and 90° external rotation. Both kinematic and kinetic data were collected from eight volunteers by the Motion Analysis System and a Kistler Force Plate. Statistical analysis of the data delineates the relationship between elbow joint load and hand rotational position during one-handed pushup, and also provides useful biomechanical information for this challenging exercise. The axial and valgus stresses and forces are the major concerns. The peak axial forces exerted on the elbow joint averaged 65 % of the body weight when the hand position was neutral, and was significantly reduced with the hand rotated either internally or externally. The peak valgus shear force with the hand externally rotated was 50 % greater than the other two positions. Thus, outward rotation of the hand is a stressful position that should be avoided during one-handed pushup exercise or forward falls with outstretched hands in order to reduce the risk of elbow injuries.


C. J. Lin, MD

Department of Orthopedic Surgery · National Cheng Kung University Medical College

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