Since 1973 when Steindler transcribed the principles of closed and open kinetic chain from the mechanics to the rehabilitation world, many studies have been conducted about the consequences of the exercises involving both types of kinetic chains, however there hasn’t been a lot of studies concerning the validity about its defi nition, its benefi ts and risks. The community rehabilitation have associated the defi nition of closed and open kinetic chain, to some classic exercises without questioning if the components involved in defi nition was enough to establish such concept. Method: Authors have made a bibliography revision that included articles with the defi nition of kinetic chains, books of kinesiology, dynamic and mechanics searching a correlation some approximations and disagreements in the defi nition and concepts. Results: The mechanics chains mentioned are the kinematic chains and not kinetic chains and the transposition of this concepts to the rehabilitation was literary, favoring the use of terms as synonyms, even existing a difference between them: the kinematic chain doesn’t consider the causing forces of movement or balance, however the kinetic chain has considered them. The term open kinematic chain is not mentioned in mechanics. Conclusions: All the exercises involving only one joint should be called isolated exercises and the term closed kinematic chain should be divided into three categories: closed kinematic chain, restrained kinematic chain and kinematic chain, in accordance to the degree of freedom of each chain. It is suggested that these terms should be used to describe multi joint exercises in accordance to the degree of freedom of each exercise.
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