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Effects of Variations of the Bench Press Exercise on the EMG Activity of Five Shoulder Muscles

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Abstract

This experiment investigated the effects of varying bench inclination and hand spacing on the EMG activity of five muscles acting at the shoulder joint. Six male weight trainers performed presses under four conditions of trunk inclination and two of hand spacing at 80% of their predetermined max. Preamplified surface EMG electrodes were placed over the five muscles in question. The EMG signals during the 2-sec lift indicated some significant effects of trunk inclination and hand spacing. The sternocostal head of the pectoralis major was more active during the press from a horizontal bench than from a decline bench. Also, the clavicular head of the pectoralis major was no more active during the incline bench press than during the horizontal one, but it was less active during the decline bench press. The clavicular head of the pectoralis major was more active with a narrow hand spacing. Anterior deltoid activity tended to increase as trunk inclination increased. The long head of the triceps brachii was more active during the decline and flat bench presses than the other two conditions, and was also more active with a narrow hand spacing. Latissimus dorsi exhibited low activity in all conditions. (C) 1995 National Strength and Conditioning Association
... It is less explored in the literature, however, if this distinct pattern of pectoralis major activation is also present in dynamic (i.e., exercise) tasks, such as the bench press. Particularly in the resistance training research field, a remarkable question is whether different inclinations of the bench press exercise would result in localized activation of the clavicular and sternocostal heads as the shoulder movement direction changes with variations of the bench press inclination (Lauver et al., 2016;Barnett, Kippers & Turner, 1995). Although several studies using bipolar sEMG have attempted to answer this issue in the past (Barnett et al., 1995;Coratella et al., 2020;Glass and Armstrong, 1997;Lauver et al., 2016;Rodríguez-Ridao et al., 2020;Saeterbakken et al., 2017;Trebs et al., 2010), the results observed are not consistent. ...
... Particularly in the resistance training research field, a remarkable question is whether different inclinations of the bench press exercise would result in localized activation of the clavicular and sternocostal heads as the shoulder movement direction changes with variations of the bench press inclination (Lauver et al., 2016;Barnett, Kippers & Turner, 1995). Although several studies using bipolar sEMG have attempted to answer this issue in the past (Barnett et al., 1995;Coratella et al., 2020;Glass and Armstrong, 1997;Lauver et al., 2016;Rodríguez-Ridao et al., 2020;Saeterbakken et al., 2017;Trebs et al., 2010), the results observed are not consistent. Contrasting results could be explained by several nonphysiological sources affecting the interpretation of the degree of muscle excitation from the sEMG amplitude (De Luca, 1997), which are still not commonly considered in sports and rehabilitation sciences (Vigotsky et al., 2018). ...
... Several other studies were conducted to investigate whether changing the bench press inclination would elicit a regional activation of the pectoralis major muscle (Barnett et al., 1995;Lauver et al., 2016;Rodríguez-Ridao et al., 2020;Trebs et al., 2010;Saeterbakken et al., 2017;Coratella et al., 2020). On the one hand, some evidence is in accordance with our findings, reporting a greater activation of the clavicular head during the inclined compared with the flat bench press exercise (Lauver et al., 2016;Trebs et al., 2010;Coratella et al., 2020). ...
Article
This study combined surface electromyography with panoramic ultrasound imaging to investigate whether non-uniform excitation could lead to acute localized variations in cross-sectional area and muscle thickness of the clavicular and sternocostal heads of pectoralis major (PM). Bipolar surface electromyograms (EMGs) were acquired from both PM heads, while 13 men performed four sets of the flat and 45° inclined bench press exercises. Before and immediately after exercise, panoramic ultrasound images were collected transversely to the fibers. Normalized root mean square (RMS) amplitude and variations in the cross-sectional area and muscle thickness were calculated separately for each PM head. For all sets of the inclined bench press, the normalized RMS amplitude was greater for the clavicular head than the sternocostal head (P < 0.001), and the opposite was observed during the flat bench press (P < 0.001). Similarly, while greater increases in cross-sectional area were observed in the clavicular than in the sternocostal head after the inclined bench press (P < 0.001), greater increases were quantified in the sternocostal than in the clavicular head after the flat bench press exercise (P = 0.046). Therefore, our results suggest that the PM regional excitation induced by changes in bench press inclination leads to acute, uneven responses of muscle architecture following the exercise.
... To date, few studies have investigated this gesture in impaired [7] and unimpaired [8] as well as in novice and elite athletes [6,9]. However, to the best of our knowledge, a comprehensive evaluation including both kinematic and muscle activations has not been yet proposed. ...
... Despite the different impairment and competition level of the athletes tested, with the instrumented evaluation, we were able to describe the level of performance of each athlete and recognize and unveil the muscular and kinematic strategies that the athletes adopted to execute the gesture. The usability, efficacy and the efficiency of the instrumented evaluation proposed is also confirmed by the few studies published in literature [6][7][8][9]19]. The assessment results, indeed, are not only consistent with the outcomes of these studies, but also provide relevant additional information regarding gesture performance, especially the muscle strategies adopted to execute the gesture. ...
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Purpose With an increase in the number of adapted sports, the need to monitor sports performance in people with different abilities has grown. Indeed, a thorough evaluation of the sports gesture could prevent the occurrence of injuries, enable a continuous performance assessment, and allow to verify the compliance of the requirements for the competitions. Gesture kinematics provides an assessment of performance, while the muscle activities reveal the underlying strategies adopted by each athlete. In this context, we propose an instrumented evaluation to assess performance in Para-powerlifting. Our goal is to define and test a setup and a protocol to quantitatively assess the execution of bench press exercise in athletes with different abilities. Methods We recruited an unimpaired athlete and three Paralympic athletes. They were requested to execute the bench press exercise while we recorded muscle activity and kinematic data from the upper body. We investigated the sport gesture by extracting parameters describing coordination, symmetry, and synchronism between arms, and motor variability while repeating the gesture. Results Paralympic athletes performed the gestures with higher coordination between arms and low variability across repetitions compared to the unimpaired athlete, who was not at the Olympic level. All participants obtained similar kinematic performance by adopting different muscle strategies. Conclusions This study is a proof of concept that the instrumented evaluation proposed here can allow to conduct a complete assessment of the bench press exercise, in terms of kinematics, muscle activity and performance in athletes with different abilities.
... Additionally, this unique training method may influence long-term adaptations (i.e., muscle strength and hypertrophy) due to these acute changes in muscle activity and the novelty of the loading pattern. Seminal research from Barnett et al. [10] demonstrated that performing incline bench press causes greater muscle activation of the clavicular head of the pectoralis major. Furthermore, recent research has reported that subjects performing incline bench press exhibited significantly greater changes in upper pectoral muscle thickness compared to subjects performing horizontal bench press [16]. ...
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Purpose This study compared the effects of offset loading (OSL) versus traditional loading (TDL) in the bench press exer-cise on pectoral muscle thickness and bench press strength over a 4-week mesocycle. Methods: Twenty male participantsaged 18–45 years with at least 5 years of bench press experience and a bench press one-repetition maximum equal to orgreater than their body mass were randomly assigned to OSL and TDL groups. Before and after the 4-week mesocycle,pectoral muscle thickness was assessed via ultrasonography and muscle strength was assessed by bench press one-repetitionmaximum. Effects were explored with two-way mixed ANOVA and non-clinical magnitude-based inferences. Results: Nogroup-by-time interaction was detected for any variable (P > 0.05). When compared to small magnitudes, the pectoralismajor muscle thickness changes were likely greater in OSL compared to TDL for the dominant (ES = 0.70; 87% likelygreater) and nondominant pectoralis (ES = 0.77; 91% likely greater) as well as the sum of both pectorals (ES = 0.80; 92%likely greater). Similarly, a likely greater effect for absolute (ES = 0.57; 82% likely) and relative (ES = 0.67; 85% likely)bench press strength was seen with OSL. Conclusion: Magnitude-based inferences interpreted here support the notion thatOSL may be an advantageous training modality to enhance pectoral muscle thickness and bench press strength. (PDF) The Effects of Offset Loading Versus Traditional Loading in the Bench Press Exercise on Muscle Thickness and Strength in Trained Males. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/365620091_The_Effects_of_Offset_Loading_Versus_Traditional_Loading_in_the_Bench_Press_Exercise_on_Muscle_Thickness_and_Strength_in_Trained_Males [accessed Nov 21 2022].
... Additionally, this unique training method may influence long-term adaptations (i.e., muscle strength and hypertrophy) due to these acute changes in muscle activity and the novelty of the loading pattern. Seminal research from Barnett et al. [10] demonstrated that performing incline bench press causes greater muscle activation of the clavicular head of the pectoralis major. Furthermore, recent research has reported that subjects performing incline bench press exhibited significantly greater changes in upper pectoral muscle thickness compared to subjects performing horizontal bench press [16]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose This study compared the effects of offset loading (OSL) versus traditional loading (TDL) in the bench press exercise on pectoral muscle thickness and bench press strength over a 4-week mesocycle. Methods: Twenty male participants aged 18–45 years with at least 5 years of bench press experience and a bench press one-repetition maximum equal to or greater than their body mass were randomly assigned to OSL and TDL groups. Before and after the 4-week mesocycle, pectoral muscle thickness was assessed via ultrasonography and muscle strength was assessed by bench press one-repetition maximum. Effects were explored with two-way mixed ANOVA and non-clinical magnitude-based inferences. Results: No group-by-time interaction was detected for any variable ( P > 0.05). When compared to small magnitudes, the pectoralis major muscle thickness changes were likely greater in OSL compared to TDL for the dominant (ES = 0.70; 87% likely greater) and nondominant pectoralis (ES = 0.77; 91% likely greater) as well as the sum of both pectorals (ES = 0.80; 92% likely greater). Similarly, a likely greater effect for absolute (ES = 0.57; 82% likely) and relative (ES = 0.67; 85% likely) bench press strength was seen with OSL. Conclusion: Magnitude-based inferences interpreted here support the notion that OSL may be an advantageous training modality to enhance pectoral muscle thickness and bench press strength.
... It is also applicable in detecting muscle fatigue, Ali A. Abdul-Latif performed analyses on EEG by evaluating the root mean square of EEG bands after fatigue [16]. EMG has been developed and used to evaluate the effect of condition training muscle and muscle fatigue by algorithm signal processing with data collected from a part of the body [17][18][19][20]. Triwiyanto and Wahyunggoro performed extraction using the Wilson amplitude (WAMP) and mean frequency to recognize the fatigued muscle [21]. ...
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Skeletal muscles require fitness and rehsabilitation exercises to develop. This paper presents a method to observe and evaluate the conditions of muscle extension. Based on theories about the muscles and factors that affect them during leg contraction, an electromyography (EMG) sensor was used to capture EMG signals. The signals were applied by signal processing with the wavelet packet entropy method. Not only did the experiment follow fitness rules to obtain correct EMG signal of leg extension, but the combination of inertial measurement unit (IMU) sensor also verified the muscle state to distinguish the muscle between non-fatigue and fatigue. The results show the EMG changing in the non-fatigue, fatigue, and calf muscle conditions. Additionally, we created algorithms that can successfully sense a user's muscle conditions during exercise in a leg extension machine, and an evaluation of condition sensing was also conducted. This study provides proof of concept that EMG signals for the sensing of muscle fatigue. Therefore, muscle conditions can be further monitored in exercise or rehabilitation exercise. With these results and experiences, the sensing methods can be extended to other smart exercise machines in the future.
... Bench press exercises are the most popular strength exercises for developing upper body strength, especially of chest muscles [5]. The core muscle groups which are trained during bench press exercises are the pectoralis major, the triceps brachii, the anterior deltoid and the medial deltoid, serving as key stabilisers of the shoulder joint [1]. ...
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Injuries to the shoulder are very common in sports that involve overhead arm or throwing movements. Strength training of the chest muscles has the potential to protect the shoulder from injury. Kinematic and kinetic data were acquired in 20 healthy subjects (age: 24.9 ± 2.7 years) using motion capture, force plates for the bench press exercises and load cells in the cable for the cable pulley exercises with 15% and 30% of body weight (BW). Joint ranges of motion (RoM) and joint moments at the shoulder, elbow and wrist were derived using an inverse dynamics approach. The maximum absolute moments at the shoulder joint were significantly larger for the cable pulley exercises than for the bench press exercises. The cable cross-over exercise resulted in substantially different joint angles and loading patterns compared to most other exercises, with higher fluctuations during the exercise cycle. The present results indicate that a combination of bench press and cable pulley exercises are best to train the full RoM and, thus, intra-muscular coordination across the upper limbs. Care has to be taken when performing cable cross-over exercises to ensure proper stabilisation of the joints during exercise execution and avoid joint overloading.
... [14][15][16] Conversely, other studies did not report regional differences in PM excitation when comparing both variants for the bench press exercise. 17,18 This lack of consensus could arise from non-physiological sources often disregarded when the conventional bipolar configuration is applied to investigate this issue. 19 In particular, the innervation zone (IZ) position and the placement of the bipolar electrodes over non-representative regions of the distinct PM portions are some examples of factors that may lead to potentially equivocal interpretation on the degree of PM muscle excitation from EMG amplitude. ...
Article
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Non‐physiological sources may lead to equivocal interpretation on the degree of muscle excitation from electromyograms (EMGs) amplitude. This presumably explains the contradictory findings regarding the effect of the bench press inclination on the pectoralis major (PM) activation pattern. To contend with these issues, herein we used high‐density surface EMG to investigate whether different PM regions are excited during the flat and 45° inclined bench press exercises. Single‐differential EMGs were collected from 15 regions along the PM cranio‐caudal axis, while 8 volunteers performed a set of the flat and 45° inclined bench press at 50% and 70% of 1 repetition maximum. The coefficient of variation, the range of motion, and the cycle duration were calculated from the barbell vertical position to assess the within‐subject consistency across cycles. The number of channels detecting the largest EMGs amplitude (active channels), their interquartile range and their barycentre coordinate were assessed to characterise the EMG amplitude distribution within PM. No significant differences in the range of motion (P>0.11), cycle duration (P>0.28), number of active channels (P>0.05) and interquartile range of active channels (P>0.39) were observed between the two bench press inclinations. Conversely, the barycentre shifted towards the PM clavicular region (P<0.001) when the bench press changed from flat to 45°. Our results revealed that greatest EMG amplitudes were concentrated at the PM sternocostal and clavicular heads when exercising in the flat and 45° inclined bench press, respectively. Performing the bench press exercise, with different postures, seem to demand the excitation of different PM regions.
... PT was applied to each participant immediately following completion of the last rep at the end of each set. PT was applied to the pectoralis major and minor, given that the standardized grip used in our study was 100% or more of the biacromial width [24], and the bench had no inclination (0 • ) [25], with the pectoral as the muscle group with the highest activation during the BP exercise. PT was applied to the muscle in the PTG with the dampener attachment using moderate force and fast movement, gliding up and down along the muscle belly from the origin to the insertion for 15 s, ensuring constant pressure at all times, and following the direction of the muscle fibers. ...
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Abstract: The aim of this research was to verify whether the application of percussion therapy during inter-set rest periods increases the number of repetitions performed before reaching a 30% velocity loss threshold during a bench press exercise. Methods: Twenty-four male university students participated in this study (24.3 ± 1.3 years; 77.5 ± 8.3 kg; 177.0 ± 5.6 cm; 24.7 ± 2.6 kg·m−2). Participants were randomized into two groups: a percussion therapy group (PTG) and a control group (CG). They performed 4 sets at 70% of a one-repetition maximum before reaching a 30% velocity loss threshold with an inter-set recovery of 3 min. Results: The PTG performed a greater total number of repetitions compared to the CG (44.6 ± 4.8 vs. 39.5 ± 6.8; p = 0.047; ES = 0.867). No differences were observed for the different movement velocity variables and fatigue control (p > 0.05). Conclusions: Percussion therapy is an effective method to delay the loss of movement velocity in the bench press exercise.
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This study combined surface electromyography with panoramic ultrasound imaging to investigate whether non-uniform excitation could lead to acute localized variations in cross-sectional area and muscle thickness of the clavicular and sternocostal heads of pectoralis major (PM). Bipolar surface electromyograms (EMGs) were acquired from both PM heads, while 13 men performed four sets of the flat and 45° inclined bench press exercises. Before and immediately after exercise, panoramic ultrasound images were collected transversely to the fibers. Normalized root mean square (RMS) amplitude and variations in the cross-sectional area and muscle thickness were calculated separately for each PM head. For all sets of the inclined bench press, the normalized RMS amplitude was greater for the clavicular head than the sternocostal head (P < 0.001), and the opposite was observed during the flat bench press (P < 0.001). Similarly, greater variations in cross-sectional area values were observed in the clavicular than the sternocostal head after the inclined bench press (P < 0.001), and the opposite was observed after the flat bench press (P = 0.046). Our results suggest that the PM regional excitation induced by changes in bench press inclination leads to acute, uneven responses of muscle architecture following the exercise.
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The bench press is a common activity found in many exercise regimens. Powerlifters often adopt non-standard techniques to potentially enhance maximal capability. The purpose of this research was to examine muscle activation and joint loading differences between the powerlifting (Arch) and standardised techniques. Twenty experienced male lifters completed lifts at an instructed cadence in the arch and the National Strength and Conditioning Association standard techniques at 25%, 50% and 75% of their self-reported one rep maximum. The arch technique increased latissimus dorsi mean and peak activation (p < 0.0001), generating activation of approximately 13% maximal voluntary contraction, regardless of percentage of the one rep maximum lifted. The standardised technique resulted in integrated shoulder moments that were 8% larger (p < 0.0001). This latissimus dorsi activation paired with decreased shoulder loading in the arch technique likely acts to minimise the amount of time spent in the "sticking region", where most lift efforts fail. It is possible to use this technique to increase latissimus dorsi activation, without increasing overall shoulder loading. The technique-specific differences can be used in performance or rehabilitation-based programmes to increase muscular output of some muscles without increasing overall loading.
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Isokinetic exercise is based upon the control of speed during contraction rather than the amount of load (isotonic) or effort at a given angle (isometric). Isokinetic instruments typically provide a range of selectable speeds under the assumption that each speed provides for maximum resistance (accommodation) along the total range of movement. To test this assumption the muscle action potentials (MAP) of the anterior deltoid, pectoralis major, biceps brachii, and the triceps muscle were studied by quantitative EMG during a bench press exercise at three controlled speeds. Bipolar surface electrodes with standard placement were employed throughout the study. Volunteer college women (N = ll) performed 3 trials at each speed (1.5 sec, 2.0 sec, 3.5 seel3 ft). Randomization of speed of contraction eliminated order effects and no motivation was provided. Rest was controlled to negate fatigue, ANOVA was used to determine the significance of the difference obtained. The results suggested that “accommodation” occurs for the deltoid, triceps, and biceps brachii muscles. MAP increases significantly in an inverse order to speed for the pectoralis. This may be interpreted in diverse ways but has been accepted by the authors as generally favoring the concept of accommodation.