BJSM Podcast: Ben Kibler The Shoulder in Sport

BJSM   Ben Kibler  The Shoulder in Sport 

Babette Pluim (BJSM’s deputy editor) talks to Ben Kibler (medical director of the Lexington Clinic Sports Medicine Center, Lexington, Kentucky) about his varied and prolific career in tennis and baseball sports medicine. Dr Kibler discusses his research on the shoulder and also the tennis serve, the importance of considering biomechanics in injury prevention and recovery, and the role of surgery.

  • 0.43 Founding the society for tennis medicine and science
  • 2.34 The increasing focus on the shoulder in sports medicine research
  • 3.45 Dr Kibler interest in the scapula
  • 6.09 The tennis serve as a weapon
  • 9.03 The importance of biomechanics in sports medicine
  • 11.14 The Kibler rehabilitation programme
  • 13.46 The role of surgery
  • 15.02 Basics of the throwing motion conference
  • 16.28 Do we need guidelines on how many serves young tennis players should hit?
  • 19.11 The importance of the rotation of the shoulder and position of the scapula in preventing injury
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Revision Notes

These notes have kindly been donated by a student and are purely for informational purposes only. Physiowizard does its best to screen information however the information may not necessarily reflect the beliefs of Physiowizard and we cannot guarantee its accuracy.

Section 1

  • Keen Sports man
  • Labral injuries/instability
  • Tennis Serve
  • ‘Serve as a weapon’ control over circumstances of hitting the ball
  • generates the most force
  • Injury rate in serve more than most of other strokes.
  • Professional (clay/grass court) players- males won more points on serves than women (10-17% more on 1st serves).
  • ? could be due to kinetic chain
  • Men bend knee, rotate hips, rotate trunk and use back leg more than women.
  • Increases racket head speed at ball impact by using the back leg.

 Section 2

  • Biomechanics and kinetic chain
  • Dynamic –movement, development and regulation of force.
  • Different segments need to be coordinated in patterns to efficiently develop or resist force or control load at each of the joints.
  • Know function therefore you can relate dysfunction from normal function.
  • Weakness, inflexibility, muscle imbalance.
  • Treat kinetic chain to get patient back to function

Section 3

  • Kipler rehabilitation programme
  • Define:
  • Based on kinetic chain
  • Imbalances, inflexibilities n the area
  • Victims (area athlete has pain)
  • Cuplprits (what is causing the pain)


  • Core develops force (scapular – stabilising base to work from)
  • Surgery – changes anatomy – does not always making dysfunction functionally – physiological and biomechanical aspects such as strength, flexibility and balance.
  • First step of resolving problem – rehabilitation and restoring function involves exercises following the surgery.


  • Quantity of repetition of overhead movements important.
  • Tennis serve and pitchers throw has similar load to shoulder.
  • Baseball model USA (young pitchers)
  • Tennis – less rest days than baseball
  1. Rotation of the shoulder (GHJ). Decrease GHJ internal rotation of more than 18 degrees compared to opposite side or decreased ROM of internal rotation and external rotation of more than 5 degrees one side to the other that this puts the shoulder in a mechanical inefficient position and increases the risk of injury. This is known to change before and after the match therefore check 2-3 x per year.
  2. Position of scapular – if it is protracted or tilted direction this is associated with injury of the elbow and shoulder. IR deficient has also been shown to be associated with injury at elbow.
  3. Maximum power from core- therefore good core strength.





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