Effects of exercise order on upper-body muscle activation and exercise performance.

College of Physical Education, Catholic University of Brasilia, Brasilia, Brazil.
The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research (Impact Factor: 1.8). 12/2007; 21(4):1082-6. DOI: 10.1519/R-21216.1
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT With the purpose of manipulating training stimuli, several techniques have been employed to resistance training. Two of the most popular techniques are the pre-exhaustion (PRE) and priority system (PS). PRE involves exercising the same muscle or muscle group to the point of muscular failure using a single-joint exercise immediately before a multi-joint exercise (e.g., peck-deck followed by chest press). On the other hand, it is often recommended that the complex exercises should be performed first in a training session (i.e., chest press before peck-deck), a technique known as PS. The purpose of the present study was to compare upper-body muscle activation, total repetitions (TR), and total work (TW) during PRE and PS. Thirteen men (age 25.08 +/- 2.58 years) with recreational weight-training experience performed 1 set of PRE and 1 set of PS in a balanced crossover design. The exercises were performed at the load obtained in a 10 repetition maximum (10RM) test. Therefore, chest press and peck-deck were performed with the same load during PRE and PS. Electromyography (EMG) was recorded from the triceps brachii (TB), anterior deltoids, and pectoralis major during both exercises. According to the results, TW and TR were not significantly different (p > 0.05) between PRE and PS. Likewise, during the peck-deck exercise, no significant (p > 0.05) EMG change was observed between PRE and PS order. However, TB activity was significantly (p < 0.05) higher when chest press was performed after the peck-deck exercise (PRE). Our findings suggest that performing pre-exhaustion exercise is no more effective in increasing the activation of the prefatigued muscles during the multi-joint exercise. Also, independent of the exercise order (PRE vs. PS), TW is similar when performing exercises for the same muscle group. In summary, if the coach wants to maximize the athlete performance in 1 specific resistance exercise, this exercise should be placed at the beginning of the training session.

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    ABSTRACT: Several studies have been showed that the exercises' order can influence the neuromuscular performance during a training session, and their responses to the training. The aim of the present study was to review the scientific literature on the exercises' order effects on neuromuscular performance during resistance training. It is observed that the effect of the exercises' order during a training session can influence the neuromuscular performance when performed at the beginning of the training session when compared to the end of the training session. The subjective perception of effort does not seem to be affected by the exercises' order and the central nervous system seems to change the pattern of the muscle recruitment for multijoint exercise when preceded by a single-joint exercise, apparently increasing the request of synergistic muscles. Larger rest intervals seem to affect less the neuromuscular performance when compared to smaller intervals, regardless of the sequence of the exercises.
    Revista CPAQV. 09/2013; 5(3):1-14.
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    ABSTRACT: Exercise order is an essential variable of resistance training (RT) programs which is usually related to repetition performance. The purpose of this study was to investigate the acute effect of different resistance exercise order on the number of repetitions performed to failure and related ratings of perceived exertion (RPE). Thirteen male adolescents (age: 14.46 ± 1.39 years, body height: 165.31 ± 12.75 cm, body mass: 58.73 ± 12.27 kg, estimated body fat: 21.32 ± 2.84%), without previous experience in RT, performed four resistance exercises: incline leg press (ILP), dumbbell lunge (DL), bench press (BP) and lying barbell triceps extension (TE) in two sequences - Sequence A (SEQA): ILP, DL, BP and TE; sequence B (SEQB): ILP, BP, DL and TE. The exercise sequences were performed in a randomized crossover design with a rest interval of 72h between sessions. Within-subjects analysis showed significant differences in the number of repetitions performed to failure in both sequences, but not in the RPE. Post-hoc tests revealed significant decrements in the number of repetitions from the first to the remaining exercises in both sequences. However, pairwise comparisons did not indicate significant differences between the same exercises performed in different sequences. In conclusion, the results of the current study in adolescents suggest that the main exercises should be performed at the beginning of the RT session.
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