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The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between throwing distance, shoulder joint range of motion and upper limb muscle strength in boccia athletes. Participants were eight boccia athletes (cerebral palsy, cervical spinal cord injury, muscular dystrophy, spinal muscle atrophy) in whom throwing distance, ranges of motion at the shoulder joint, elbow joint and wrist joint and upper limb muscle strength were measured. Throwing distance was measured to the point where the ball landed so to remove any effect of the floor. Upper limb muscle strength was measured by isometric contraction using a handheld dynamometer. No correlation was found between throwing distance and range of motion of the shoulder joint, but correlations were found between throwing distance and strength of shoulder flexors (r = 0.76, p < .05), shoulder abductors (r = 0.84, p < .01), and elbow flexors (r = 0.77, p < .05). Active training to improve muscle strength around the shoulder joint, regardless of the underlying disease, was considered likely to lead to improvements in competitiveness. Due to the severe dysfunction of boccia athletes, training methods are often restricted. Verification of more effective training methods is needed while managing risks according to the physical function of the athlete and the type of disability.
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