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The aim of the study was to compare the electromyographic (EMG) activity of the following muscles: clavicular portion of pectoralis major, sternal portion of pectoralis major, long portion of triceps brachii, anterior deltoid, posterior deltoid and latissimus dorsi during dynamic contractions between flat horizontal bench press and barbell pullover exercises. The sample comprised 12 males individuals experienced in resistance training. The volunteers made three visits to the laboratory. The first one consisted of 12 repetitions of the exercises for the electromyographic data collection. The results showed a higher EMG activation of the pectoralis major and anterior deltoid muscles in the flat horizontal bench press in comparison with the barbell pullover. The triceps brachii and latissimus dorsi muscles were more activated in the barbell pullover. © 2014, Universidade Estadual Paulista - UNESP. All rights reserved.
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Motriz, Rio Claro, v.20 n.2, p.200-205, Apr./Jun., 2014 DOI: dx.doi.org/10.1590/S1980-65742014000200010
200
Original article (short paper)
Comparison of electromyographic activity during
the bench press and barbell pullover exercises
Yuri de Almeida Costa Campos
Sandro Fernandes da Silva
Federal University of Lavras, Brazil
Abstract—The aim of the study was to compare the electromyographic (EMG) activity of the following muscles: cla-
vicular portion of pectoralis major, sternal portion of pectoralis major, long portion of triceps brachii, anterior deltoid,
posterior deltoid and latissimus dorsi during dynamic contractions between at horizontal bench press and barbell
pullover exercises. The sample comprised 12 males individuals experienced in resistance training. The volunteers made
three visits to the laboratory. The rst one consisted of 12 repetitions of the exercises for the electromyographic data
collection. The results showed a higher EMG activation of the pectoralis major and anterior deltoid muscles in the at
horizontal bench press in comparison with the barbell pullover. The triceps brachii and latissimus dorsi muscles were
more activated in the barbell pullover.
Keywords: EMG, exercises, upper-body, horizontal bench press, barbell pullover
Resumo—“Comparação da atividade eletromiográca entre os exercícios supino horizontal e pull-over na barra.” O
objetivo do estudo foi comparar a atividade eletromiográca dos músculos peitoral maior porção clavicular, peitoral
maior porção externa, porção longa do tríceps braquial, deltóide anterior, deltóide posterior e grande dorsal durante con-
trações dinâmicas entre os exercícios supino horizontal e pull-over. A amostra foi composta por 12 indivíduos do sexo
masculino experientes em treinamento resistido. Os voluntários zeram três visitas ao laboratório; a primeira consistiu
na avaliação antropométrica e no teste de 1RM em ambos os exercícios, e a segunda e terceira consistiram na realização
de 12 repetições para a coleta dos dados da eletromiograa. Após a análise dos resultados foi possível identicar uma
ativação eletromiográca superior dos músculos peitoral maior e deltóide anterior no supino horizontal em relação ao
pull-over barra. Já as musculaturas do tríceps braquial e grande dorsal foram mais ativadas no pull-over barra.
Palavras-chave: EMG, exercício, parte superior do tronco, supino, pull-over
Resumen—“Comparación de la actividad electromiografíca entre los ejercicios press de banca horizontal y pull-over
barra.El objetivo del estudio fue comparar la actividad electromiografíca de los músculos pectoral mayor en la porción
clavicular, pectoral mayor porción esternal, porción larga del tríceps braquial, deltoides anterior, deltoides posterior y
dorsal ancho durante las contracciones dinámicas entre los ejercicios press de banca y pullover. Hicieron parte de la
muestra 12 individuos del sexo masculino expertos en el entrenamiento con pesas. Los voluntarios hicieran tres visitas
al laboratorio, la primera, consistió en la evaluación antropométrica y en el teste de 1RM en los dos ejercicios, y la
segunda y tercera, consistió en la realización de 12 repeticiones para la recolecta de los datos de la electromiografía.
Después del análisis de los resultados fue posible identicar una activación electromiografíca superior en las porciones
del musculo pectoral mayor y en el deltoides anterior en el press de banca horizontal en relación al pull-over barra. Ya
las musculaturas del tríceps braquial y del dorsal ancho fueron las más activadas en el pull-over barra.
Palabras clave: EMG, ejercicio, tren superior del tronco, press de banca, pull-over
Introduction
The deltoid and pectoralis major muscles are the main muscles
of the glenohumeral joint, with an important function in daily
activities and in numerous sports skills (Santana, Vera-Garcia,
& McGill, 2007). Thus, it is important to include exercises to
increase the strength of the front and upper body, either for
aesthetic or therapeutic purposes. Also, such exercises can im-
prove sport performance in which the use of a sport equipment
is common, or upper body movements are required (Escamilla
& Andrews, 2009; Schick et al., 2010). In order to achieve im-
proved muscle performance, coaches often use the horizontal
bench press exercise (Sadri et al., 2011; Schick et al., 2010;
Tillaar & Ettema 2010), especially because of its effectiveness in
developing pectoral, triceps and anterior deltoid muscles (Kellis
& Baltzopoulos, 1998). However, other exercises and variations
of the horizontal bench press have been used to diversify trai-
ning. These changes usually include modications in the angle
of the equipment seat (Barnett, Kippers, & Turner, 1995; Glass,
& Armstrong, 1997; Trebs, Brandenburg, & Pitney, 2010), as
Electromyography during bench press and barbell pullover
Motriz, Rio Claro, v.20 n.2, p.200-205, Apr./Jun., 2014
201
well as the use of other exercise equipments (McCaw & Friday,
1994; Trebs, Brandenburg, & Pitney, 2010), dumbbell exercises
(Uribe et al., 2010), dumbbell y exercises (Welsch, Bird, &
Mayhew, 2005), cables and pulleys (Clemons & Aron, 1997;
Sadri et al., 2011), and stable and unstable surfaces (Goodman
et al., 2008). These are exercise alternatives routinely prescribed
as a way to complement training.
Recently, a study performed by Marchetti et al. (2011)
demonstrated that the barbell pullover could also be used to
develop anterior and upper body muscles, the pectoralis major.
However, some other reports have shown that the exercise in
question also recruits latissimus dorsi bers, without signicant
differences between that musculatures and muscles portions of
the pectoralis major (Takara et al., 2005). When we analyzed the
biomechanics of the barbell pullover exercise compared with
other basic exercises used to improve the upper and front part
of the body, we observed a great difference between the move-
ments (Hall, 1999). However, even with these biomechanical
differences, barbell pullover exercise is still prescribed more
often to develop the musculatures of the upper and anterior parts
of the trunk, besides the back part of the trunk. Such choices
generate doubts about its true prescription, as they may result
in different responses, especially in the levels of electrical acti-
vation on the target muscles. In order to clarify these questions,
electromyography emerges as a reliable research tool, being
constantly employed for the analysis of physiological aspects of
muscle activity during exercise (De Luca et al, 2006; Escamilla
& Andrews, 2009).
Thus, the purpose of the study was to compare clavicular
portion of pectoralis major (CPPM), pectoralis major sternal
portion (PMSP), long portion of the triceps (LPTB), anterior
deltoide (AD), posterior deltoide (PD) and latissimus dorsi (LD)
muscles between horizontal bench press and barbell pullover
exercises with trained men.
Methods
Experimental approach to the problem
In order to investigate differences in EMG activation of
muscles for the horizontal bench press and the barbell pullover
exercises, two test sessions were established, in which partici-
pants were assigned to perform two exercises in a random order
in different sessions. The EMG signal was recorded during the
concentric and eccentric phases of each of 12 repetitions in order
to compare the levels of muscle activation in CPPM, PMSP,
LPTB, DA, DP and LD. Participants were selected according to
their experience in resistance training and in the target exercises.
Participants
Participants for this study consisted of 12 men (age: 24.50
±4.34 years, relative body fat: 13.63 ±1.94%, height: 176.0
±0.04 cm, body mass: 73.12 ±6.10 kg and, years of training:
3.58 ±2.90). To be included in the study, they could not have
bone nor muscle disorders that could compromise the execution
of movements. Also, they should have minimum experience
of 12 months in resistance training, and be familiar with the
horizontal bench press and the barbell pullover exercises. Par-
ticipants were instructed to refrain from any form of physical
activity for a period of 48 hours prior the tests. All volunteers
signed an Informed Consent Form, previously approved by
the Committee of Ethics and Research Involving Human
Subjects of the Central University of South of Minas (UNIS),
Minas Gerais State, Brazil (protocol 0068/2010). Volunteers
made three visits to the laboratory. The rst consisted in the
clarication of the likely questions regarding the research,
the signing of the Informed Consent Form, anthropometric
assessments, 1RM test, and explanation about the required
movements speed during the exercises. For the measurement
of the sample characteristics, data of height and weight were
collected using a scale with Welmy
®
stadiometer. The estimated
body fat percentage was measured through a Quantum BIA-II
®
tetra polar bioimpedance apparatus (RJL Systems, Inc. Clinton:
US-MI). Conmed
®
electrodes were used for the data collection.
The 1RM test followed the protocol NSCA (Earle & Baechle,
2004), in which participants progressively increased resistance
until 1RM was found. The movement speed was monitored via
a digital metronome, and pre-establishing 2 seconds for the
concentric phase, and 2 seconds for the eccentric one, totaling
4 seconds for a movement or 1 repetition. In the second and
third visits, participants performed the exercises presented in
a random order. Before testing, participants underwent the
EMG preparation protocol to avoid skin impedance, and then
performed a series of 20 repetitions as a specic warm up, with
a load set at 30% of their respective body mass. Then, a new
set of 12 repetitions at 70% 1RM was performed to record the
EMG signal. To perform BP we used a bar measuring 1.20 m
long, mass 6 kg, a HBP and Physicus
®
washers (Brazil). In the
initial execution of the movement, participants lay down on a
bench in a supine position, feet at on the ground, holding a
barbell with a pronated grip, and upper limb perpendicular to
the body. Grip distance was determined by the bi-acromial width
of each participant. The movement ended when the barbell was
elevated above the participants’ head, and then, moving down
just below an imaginary line of the bench. For the horizontal
bench press, we used a bar measuring 1.30 m long, mass of 10
kg, a horizontal bench press and Physicus ® washers (Brazil).
Hands were positioned on the barbell, which was individually
adjusted with a variation from 10 to 30 cm out of the shoulder
joint (Wagner et al., 1992). In the initial position of the move-
ment, individuals lay down on the bench in a supine position,
with their feet at on the ground, holding the barbell with a
pronated grip to start the exercise. At the start of the eccentric
phase of the movement, participants were instructed to direct
the barbell in a line near the central region of the sternum. The
end of the eccentric phase and the beginning concentric one
occurred when the barbell was moved near 2 cm of the chest.
Participants were instructed not to touch the chest with the
barbell in order to prevent the electrodes to move or to detach
while performing the exercise.
Y.A.C. Campos & S.F. Silva
Motriz, Rio Claro, v.20 n.2, p.200-205, Apr./Jun., 2014
202
Electromyography
To avoid potential interference with the EMG signal,
each participant’s skin area was prepared before placing the
electrodes through the processes of trichotomy, abrasion and
cleaning with isopropyl alcohol. Two electromyography Mio-
tool 400 (Miotec Biomedical Equipment Ltd., POA, Brazil
®
)
with 4 input channels, 14 bit resolution and an acquisition
rate of 2,000 per channel samples, with a sensor SDS-500
with a maximum gain of 1000 times were used for the data
collection with Common Mode Rejection in 110 dB. The
electrodes used were 3M
®
model 2223BR, with a catchment
surface with Ag/AgCl 1 cm diameter in the shape of discs.
The electrodes were attached to the individual’s body accor-
ding to the points proposed by Merletti et al. (1999), respec-
ting a distance of 2 cm, and parallel to the muscle bers. The
low impedance of the skin was evaluated (< 2kΩ) and each
channel of the electromyography was properly calibrated
before the data collection. After attaching the electrodes in
the muscles portions to be analyzed, the biding sites were
marked with demographic pencil to avoid any interference
between evaluators and the different days on which the tests
were applied. All measurements were taken on the right side
of the individual’s body. Reference electrodes were placed on
the clavicle and the styloid process of the ulna. Electromyo-
graphy data were collected and stored in a personal computer
(Samsung RV411, Samsung, Brazil).
Signal processing
Signals collected were ltered through 5
th
order Butte-
rworth band-pass type lter with a 20-500 Hz cutoff fre-
quency. The amplitude of the signals was expressed by the
square root of the average values. To avoid any possibility
of phase delay during the signal ltering, an extended time
of EMG signal was determined with an interval of 1 minute.
For analysis and data processing Miograph 9 Build 2.0 Alpha
5 software was used.
Data organization process for statistical analysis
From the raw signal (RAW) it was possible to make a cut in
the original signal of 12 repetitions (48 seconds) in a new signal
of 8 repetitions (36 seconds), i.e., we excluded the rst two
and the last two repetitions. We adopted these criteria in order
to prevent the sample from failing to exert the proper speed of
execution during the initial and nal moments of the exercise,
thus minimizing the chances of error. Soon after, the new signal
was handled from the 5
th
order band-pass type Butterworth lter
with a cutoff frequency of 20-500 Hz. The electromyographic
signal amplitude was calculated in RMS (Root Mean Square).
The signals were normalized according to the maximum peak
of the EMG signal. Then, mean signals of all participants were
obtained and transferred into the SPSS software version 20.0
(SPSS, Inc., Chicago, IL, USA) for statistical analysis.
Statistical analysis
Data analysis was performed with statistical comparison
of averages and standard deviations. In order to investigate the
distribution of the sample, Shapiro-Wilk test was used. Statis-
tical analysis of the activation of muscle groups between the
horizontal bench press and barbell pullover exercises adopted
the t-test for independent samples. To identify the performan-
ce between muscle activations within each exercise, t-test for
dependent samples was adopted. In order to verify the effect
size of the sample test, d Cohen was adopted. For statistical
evidence α < 0.05 was adopted.
Results
The ICC between repetitions was 0.99 (lower limit= -0.003,
upper limit= 0.281). Figure 1 shows the comparison of elec-
tromyography activity of the major pectoral clavicular portion
between the horizontal bench press and barbell pullover exer-
cises (p < 0.01, d = 0.628, moderate effect size). The results
Figure 2. Comparison of the electromyographic activation of major
pectoral sternal portion between horizontal bench press and barbell
pullover exercises (mean and SD).
#
p < 0.05 - signicant difference
#
p < 0.05 - signicant difference between BP and HBP
Figure 1. Comparison of electromyographic activation of the major
pectoral clavicular portion between horizontal bench press and barbell
pullover exercises (mean and SD).
#
p < 0.05 - signicant difference
Electromyography during bench press and barbell pullover
Motriz, Rio Claro, v.20 n.2, p.200-205, Apr./Jun., 2014
203
Figure 5. Comparison of electromyographic activation of posterior
deltoid between horizontal bench press and barbell pullover exercises
(mean and SD).
indicated signicant differences between the horizontal bench
press and barbell pullover.
In Figure 2, we observed a signicant difference between the
studied exercises regarding electromyography in major pectoral
sternal portion (p < 0.01, d = 0.453, moderate effect size). In the
analysis of Figure 3, it was identied that the barbell pullover
shows a statistically signicant higher electromyographic acti-
vity than the horizontal bench press for the long portion of the
triceps (p < 0.014, d = 0.268, small effect size).
When checking the results of the anterior deltoid (Figure
4), we observed a higher electromyographic activity during the
horizontal bench press compared to the barbell pullover (p <
0.01, d = 0.802, large effect size). Figure 5 shows the result of
posterior deltoid, in which we found no signicant difference
between both exercises (p < 0.812).
Figure 6 shows the latissimus dorsi muscle’s electromyo-
graphy, in which we found a signicant difference between
barbell pullover and horizontal bench press (p < 0.012, d =
0.303, small effect size).
Discussion
Based on the analysis of the results it was possible to conrm
the initial research hypothesis. The anterior and upper body mus-
cles activity showed signicant differences in the CPPM, PMSP,
LPTB and AD muscles. During horizontal bench press, CPPM,
PMSP and AD muscles showed higher levels of EMG activity
in comparison with the barbell pullover. These results show that
horizontal bench press presents concentric and eccentric phases
only in the front and the upper part of the body, while the barbell
pullover has the end of its eccentric phase and the beginning
of its concentric one located in the posterior and upper body
part—during which the pectoralis major musculature are most
requested, being responsible for performing the exion of the
glenohumeral joint (Smith, Weiss, & Lehmuhl, 1997; Wirhed,
1986). Another major factor that may have inuenced a divergent
electromyographic response between the two exercises relates
to the shoulder joint’s movement biomechanics. While in the
horizontal bench press shoulder shows horizontal adduction and
abduction (Hall, 1999; Marchetti & Uchida, 2011) movements,
in the barbell pullover the shoulder shows exion and extension
(Graham, 2004; Marchetti & Uchida, 2011) movements.
During the barbell pullover, LPTB showed higher levels of
EMG activation in comparison with the horizontal bench press
(Figure 3). This higher activity of LPTB during barbell pullover
was mainly attributed to the isometric action of this muscle,
emphasized by a slight elbow exion during the movement. This
elbow exion occurred in the movements of all the evaluated
individuals, and apparently was due to the great distance be-
tween the axis (shoulder) and the resistance (represented by the
apparatus barbell + weight), which increased signicantly the
isometric request of this muscle during exercise execution. On
the other hand, the horizontal bench press showed lower levels
of electrical activation mainly due to the grips separation relative
to the bi-acromial distance (Clemons & Aron, 1997; Lehman,
2005). The standard grip used during the horizontal bench press
basic execution did not allow the absolute recruitment of these
muscles during the nal concentric phase in which the extension
of the elbows occurred.
Figure 4. Comparison of electromyographic activation of anterior
deltoid between horizontal bench press and Barbell Pullover exercises
(Mean and SD).
#
p < 0.05 - signicant difference.
Figure 3. Comparison of electromyographic activation of brachial tri-
ceps long portion between horizontal bench press and barbell pullover
exercises (mean and SD).
Y.A.C. Campos & S.F. Silva
Motriz, Rio Claro, v.20 n.2, p.200-205, Apr./Jun., 2014
204
electromyographic activity found in our study in the LD muscle,
which shows a tendency of barbell pullover to show electrical
activity in the muscle in question (Takara et al., 2005).
In conclusion, the results of this study suggest that the barbell
pullover exercise cannot be indicated as an exercise for the front and
upper body muscles, and that the horizontal bench press exercise
is the most indicated to the training and development of this body
musculature region. It is appropriate to emphasize that a variety of
training programs that include specic exercises have been applied
to athletes in sports where equipment is controlled and/or directed
with a muscle complex of the front and the upper body parts (Es-
camilla & Andrews, 2009; Schick et al, 2010). Training protocols
show great applicability of these exercises in the treatment of pa-
thologies located in the shoulders (Dorrestijn et al, 2009; Kuhn et
al, 2009). Taking into account the specic movement of the barbell
pullover exercise, as well as the similarity of this exercise with the
varieties of movements performed during some sports modalities
that require exion and extension of the shoulder joints, injuries or
pathologies in these musculatures can be prevented.
Barbell pullover is indicated as a good transition exercise from
the anterior to the posterior portions of the body. With regard the
adjustment of the barbell pullover in training programs, we sug-
gest its application in agonist/antagonist training to provide take
advantage of the transitional potential offered by this exercise. In
sports, the barbell pullover could be usually prescribed as part of
strength training for athletes in many sports modalities, both for
performance improvement, enhancement of strength and power,
and for the prevention of injuries (Dorrestijn et al., 2009; Kuhn et
al., 2009) that may result from repetitive movements above the
shoulder line (Schae, Requa, & Patton, 1990; Watkins & Green,
1992). In such situations, glenohumeral joint is often requested
due to the exercise specicity degree that is very similar to mo-
vements of serving and cutting in volleyball, serving in tennis
and pitching in baseball, to name a few examples.
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#
p < .05 - signicant difference
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Authors’ note
Yuri de Almeida Costa Campos and Sandro Fernandes da Silva
are
afliated with the Group of Research and Studies on Neuromuscular
Behavior (GEPREN), Department of Physical Education, Federal
University of Lavras, MG, Brazil.
Corresponding author
Yuri de Almeida Costa Campos
Universidade Federal de Lavras, Departamento de Educação Física
PO box 3037
Lavras 37200-000, MG, Brazil
Phone: (35) 3829-5132
email: sandrofs@def.ua.br
Acknowledgments
Financial Support by FAPEMIG (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa de
Minas Gerais); Junior research scholarship.
Manuscript received on July 23, 2013
Manuscript accepted on April 1, 2014
Motriz. The Journal of Physical Education. UNESP. Rio Claro, SP, Brazil
- eISSN: 1980-6574 – under a license Creative Commons - Version 3.0
... Thus, some studies have attempted to evaluate the electromyographic (EMG) activity in both pullover and pulldown exercises [17][18][19][20]. Marchetti and Uchida [20] evaluated the EMG activity of the pectoralis major and latissimus dorsi muscles during pullover exercises. ...
... However, these authors did not compare the pullover exercise with any other exercise. In this regard, Campos and da Silva [19] compared the EMG activity of the pectoralis major, triceps brachii, anterior deltoid, and latissimus dorsi muscles between the barbell pullover and horizontal bench press exercises. These authors found a higher EMG activity for the triceps brachii and latissimus dorsi muscles in the pullover exercise than in the horizontal bench press. ...
... Subsequently, through shoulder extensions, the arms had to return to the initial position (at the end of the concentric phase) (Figure 1a). In this pullover exercise, the grip distance was determined by the biacromial width of each participant (100% biacromial width) [19]. The straight arm pulldown exercise was performed in a standing posture with the trunk in a vertical position by gripping a bar that was connected by a cable to a pulley [18] (Figure 1b). ...
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Pullover and straight arm pulldown exercises are commonly used in resistance exercise programs to improve sports performance or in physical activity health programs. This study aimed to evaluate the individual electromyographic (EMG) activity of the pectoralis major (clavicular, sternal, and costal portions), latissimus dorsi, anterior deltoid, triceps brachii, and rectus abdominis muscles in a barbell pullover exercise at a 100% biacromial width and a straight arm pulldown exercise at a 100% and 150% biacromial width and to compare the EMG activity in these selected muscles and exercises. Twenty healthy and physically active adults performed a set of eight repetitions of each exercise against 30% of their body mass. The barbell pullover exercise presented a higher EMG activity (p ≤ 0.01) than the straight arm pulldown exercise in both biacromial widths in all evaluated muscles except for the latissimus dorsi and the triceps brachii. These muscles showed the highest EMG activity in the straight arm pulldown exercise at both biacromial widths. In all of the exercises and muscles evaluated, the concentric phase showed a greater EMG activity than the eccentric phase. In conclusion, the barbell pullover exercise can highlight muscle activity in the pectoralis major (mainly in the sternal and lower portions), triceps brachii, and rectus abdominis muscles. However, the straight arm pulldown exercise at 100% and 150% biacromial widths could be a better exercise to stimulate the latissimus dorsi and triceps brachii muscles. Moreover, all exercises showed significantly greater EMG activity (p < 0.001) in the concentric phase than in the eccentric phase for all the evaluated muscles.
... The bench angles were measured using a Uni-Level inclinometer (ISOMED, Inc., Portland, OR, USA). The participants performed a set of 8 repetitions at 60% 1RM, at a rate of two seconds for the eccentric phase and two seconds for the concentric phase [21,22] for each bench press inclination. The velocity of the reps was controlled by a KORG MA−1 metronome (Keio Electronic Laboratories, Tokyo, Japan). ...
... The current work has certain limitations that could be tackled in future studies, such as controlled velocity during the repetitions to 2:2 to obtain a cleaner EMG signal [21,22]. For further studies, it may be interesting to measure this EMG activity in explosive executions or at high velocities, since the velocity of execution is considered an important variable of resistance training [25,26]. ...
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The bench press exercise is one of the most used for training and for evaluating upper-body strength. The aim of the current study was to evaluate the electromyographic (EMG) activity levels of the pectoralis major (PM) in its three portions (upper portion, PMUP, middle portion, PMMP, and lower portion, PMLP), the anterior deltoid (AD), and the triceps brachii (TB) medial head during the bench press exercise at five bench angles (0 • , 15 • , 30 • , 45 • , and 60 •). Thirty trained adults participated in the study. The EMG activity of the muscles was recorded at the aforementioned inclinations at 60% of one-repetition maximum (1RM). The results showed that the maximal EMG activity for PMUP occurred at a bench inclination of 30 •. PMMP and PMLP showed higher EMG activity at a 0 • bench inclination. AD had the highest EMG activity at 60 •. TB showed similar EMG activities at all bench inclinations. In conclusion, the horizontal bench press produces similar electromyographic activities for the pectoralis major and the anterior deltoid. An inclination of 30 • produces greater activation of the upper portion of the pectoralis major. Inclinations greater than 45 • produce significantly higher activation of the anterior deltoid and decrease the muscular performance of the pectoralis major.
... Several studies have reported ~twofold greater myoelectric activity of the pectoralis major compared to the triceps brachii during performance of the bench press [37,38]. Similarly, the lat pulldown and seated row result in greater myoelectric activity in the latissimus dorsi compared to the biceps brachii, although the disparity in EMG amplitude between muscles diminishes when a supinated grip is employed [39,40]. ...
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Resistance training volume, determined by the number of sets performed (set-volume) is considered one of the key variables in promoting muscle hypertrophy. To better guide resistance exercise prescription for weekly per-muscle training volume, the purpose of this paper is to provide evidence-based considerations for set-volume ratios between multi-joint (MJ) and single-joint (SJ) exercises so that practitioners can better manage prescription of training volume in program design. We analyzed this topic from three primary areas of focus: (1) biomechanical and physiological factors; (2) acute research; and (3) longitudinal research. From a biomechanical and physiological standpoint, when considering force production of different muscle groups, the moment arm of a given muscle, “motor abundance”, the link between biomechanics and exercise-induced fatigue, as well as the amount of time in voluntary muscle activation, a logical rationale can be made for SJ exercises producing greater hypertrophy of the limb muscles than MJ exercises (at least from specific exercises and under certain conditions). This would mean that sets for a MJ exercise should be counted fractionally for select muscles compared to an SJ exercise (i.e., less than a 1:1 ratio) when prescribing set-volumes for given muscles. When considering results from acute studies that measured muscle activation during the performance of SJ and MJ exercises, it seems that MJ exercises are not sufficient to maximize muscle activation of specific muscles. For example, during performance of the leg press and squat, muscle activation of the hamstrings is markedly lower than that of the quadriceps. These results suggest that a 1:1 ratio cannot be assumed. Current longitudinal research comparing the effects of training with MJ vs. SJ or MJ + SJ exercises is limited to the elbow flexors and the evidence is somewhat conflicting. Until more research is conducted to derive stronger conclusions on the topic, we propose the best advice would be to view set-volume prescription on a 1:1 basis, and then use logical rationale and personal expertise to make determinations on program design. Future research should focus on investigating longitudinal hypertrophic changes between MJ and SJ in a variety of populations, particularly resistance-trained individuals, while using site-specific measures of muscle growth to more systematically and precisely compute effective individualized set-volumes.
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... On the one hand, it should be noted that the present study exhibited a series of limitations that should be addressed in future work. For example, the speed of the movement was performed 2 second by eccentric phase and 2 second by concentric phase for obtaining a clearer EMG signal [34,35]. It would have been interesting to evaluate this muscle activation including a maximal voluntary speed for further studies since it is frequently used nowadays in resistance training [47,48]. ...
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The present study aimed to evaluate and compare the levels of electromyographic activation in the pectoralis major, anterior deltoid, triceps brachii, forearm, rectus abdominis, external oblique, and rectus femoris muscles during a horizontal bench press in two situations: 1) with the feet on the ground; and 2) with active hip flexion and 90° of knee flexion. Twenty young men were familiarized with the procedure and the calculation of one-rep max (1RM). In a second session, electromyographic activity values were recorded in both bench press situations (with the feet on the ground vs active hip flexion and knees at 90°) at 60% 1RM. Performing the bench press with the hips and knees flexed produced significantly greater muscle activation of all elevated muscles (p < 0.01; d > 0.5). The pectoralis major showed the greatest activation, followed by the anterior deltoid and the triceps brachii. In addition, the greater activation of the abdominal muscles occurs due to the need to stabilize the core while performing the bench press with hip and knee flexion as well as the lumbar spine due to traction of the hip flexors.
... In addition, the elbow torque is larger than the shoulder torque throughout the exercise. This behavior does not seem to approach a realistic realization of the exercise since, according to the literature, the shoulder has a larger torque capacity than the elbow, and the muscle excitation (EMG activity) during the bench press exercise is also higher for the shoulder muscles [38,[49][50][51] . ...
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The bench press exercise on a Smith machine, frequently used in training programs, can be analyzed as a redundantly actuated biomechanical system. In this exercise, a simplified model having one degree of freedom, actuated at the shoulder and the elbow, provides a meaningful representation of its dynamics. Due to the actuation redundancy, many different combinations of actuations that lead to the same motion can be found. The present optimization framework for the bench press exercise is intended at understanding the appropriate performance of this exercise when it is used to gain endurance or to perform the exercise in the safest manner, that is, avoiding overloads. The dynamic simulation is solved by parameter optimization and direct collocation. The kinematics of the bench press exercise performed by a trained subject and recorded with an electro-goniometer is used as a reference motion for the optimization. The results show that it is possible to mathematically obtain better realizations of the exercise, what suggests the potential of this methodology in the design of training programs in sports or rehabilitation exercises.
... Several studies have compared the BBP to other exercises, including pec deck (Botton et al., 2013;Rocha Júnior et al., 2007), barbell pullovers (Campos and Silva, 2014), push-ups (Calatayud et al., 2015;, and shoulder press (Botton et al., 2013). However, to our knowledge, only one study has compared the BBP and the DF. ...
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The purpose of the study was to compare the muscle activity in the prime movers and antagonist between the barbell bench press (BBP) and the dumbbell flyes (DF) Seventeen resistance-trained men (age 22.9 ± 1.8 yrs; height 1.80 ± 0.06 m; body mass 80.0 ± 8.3 kg), with 4.8 ± 2.0 years resistance training experience, completed the study. The surface electromyographic activation was measured in four different muscles (pectoralis major, anterior del-toids, triceps brachii, and biceps brachii) during six repetition maximum loads in both exercises. To better understand eventual differences, an in-depth analysis of the fifth repetition was performed , dividing it into six phases (lower, middle, and upper phase of the descending and ascending movement). The results showed a higher muscle activation in the whole movement and the majority of the lifting phases for pectoralis major, deltoids anterior , and triceps brachii for the BBP compared to the DF (8-81 %, p ≤ 0.05). However, the antagonist biceps brachii showed a higher muscle activation (57-86 %, p ≤ 0.05) in the DF compared to the BBP. In conclusion, both exercises could be included in training programs, but the BBP should be emphasized because of the higher muscle activation overall. Among specific populations, were tasks based on strength and control in a horizontal shoulder flexion position with extended elbows often occurs, the DF might prove useful.
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RESUMEN La realización de ejercicios accesorios (EA) en los programas de entrenamiento de fuerza con sobrecargas (EFS) es una práctica bastante difundida para obtener mayores beneficios en la fuerza e hipertrofia muscular, sin embargo, no existen estudios que correlacionen la repetición máxima (RM) de ejercicios accesorios y el press banca (PB). Por ende, el objetivo del presente estudio exploratorio de tipo correlacional y una muestra a conveniencia fue determinar el grado de correlación entre la repetición máxima de ejercicios accesorios de miembros superiores y la repetición máxima en PB en sujetos practicantes de musculación. Participaron voluntariamente catorce hombres sanos (edad 22,45±2,45 años, talla 1,69±0,07 m, masa corporal de 66,5±13,11 kg) capacitados en el EFS, el test de RM se realizó en tres días separados por 48 horas, y, los ejercicios valorados fueron: PB, remo en polea baja (RP), press militar con barra (PM), bíceps en polea (BP), tríceps en polea (TP), jalón a la cara en polea (JP) y encogimientos con barra (EB). El análisis de los datos se realizó en el paquete estadístico IBM SPSS V.22 con un nivel de confianza del 95% en el cual se aplicó la prueba de normalidad (Shapiro-wilk) y el coeficiente correlacional de Pearson teniendo en cuenta para la significancia un p-valor de 0,05. Los resultados de la repetición máxima en todos los ejercicios manifestaron una distribución normal (p>0,05), sin embargo, la relación entre el PB con RP (r =-0,49), PM (r = 0,48), BP (r = 0,07), TP (r =-0,09), JP (r = 0,37) y EB (r = 0,09) no fue significativa (p>0,05). En conclusión, los ejercicios valorados no están relacionados significativamente con la repetición máxima en press banca plano en sujetos practicantes de musculación. Palabras clave: Entrenamiento de la fuerza, musculación, miembros superiores, repetición máxima.
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Background: The primary purpose of this study was to measure the acute effects on muscle thickness, arm circumference, and peak force between unilateral seated row and unilateral biceps curl exercises for elbow flexors after a RT session in recreationally-trained subjects. Methods: Fourteen resistance-trained men (25.3 ± 2.5years, 76.5± 6.4kg, 174.6 ± 7cm) performed 6 sets of 10RM and 2-min rest for one of two exercises (unilateral seated row exercise, USR or unilateral biceps curl, UBC). Muscle thickness (MT), arm circumference (AC), and peak force (PF) were measured before 10-min (control), pre-RT session and post- RT (immediately after, 15-min and 30-min). All acute RT variables were measured during both exercises: maximal number of repetitions (MNR), total number of repetitions (TNR), time under tension (TUT), rating of perceived exertion (RPE). Two-way ANOVAs were used to test differences between exercises and moments with an alpha of 5%. Results: For PF, there was a significant difference between pre- and post-0 for UBC and USR (p<0.001). For AC, there were significant differences between pre-test x post-0-min for both exercises (p<0.001). For MT, there were significant differences between pre-test x post 0-min (p<0.001), pre-test x post 15-min (p<0.001) for both exercises and pre-test x post 30- min only for UBC (p=0.006). Conclusions: Both exercises induced similar increases in AC and MT for elbow flexors and reduction in peak force.
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In strength or resistance training, the patterns of movement of the load and the muscle activation can be adapted to the training objective according to the muscle conditioning machine selected. Traditionally, free-weight bench press is extensively used for athlete training. One of the main features of such kind of machine is the significant influence of the inertial forces in the muscle forces that the athlete has to develop. In this paper, a bench press which is able to maintain an almost constant force resistance is proposed. Then, the proposed constant-force bench press is compared to the traditional free-weight resistance bench press. Experimental data measured in a test session with free-weight resistance are used as an input for a mathematical model of the bench press that allows estimating three meaningful variables of the exercise performance: the shoulder vertical force, the net joint moment at the shoulder and the muscular power. These results are compared with those obtained by assuming a constant-force resistance, finding significant differences between both resistance systems. Constant-force resistance results in a less fluctuating force curve, lower peaks of the joint moment and muscular power, and small variance between different exercise repetitions.
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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
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The purpose of this study was to compare the EMG fluctuation of pectoralis major-clavicular portion (PMC) and deltoid-anterior portion (DA) muscles executions of bench press with barbell and dumbbell. Fifteen male healthy employees (mean ± SD; age 30.13 ± 5.33 years; hewight 175.33 ± 6.07 cm; weight 69.80 ± 12.14 kg) without previous injuries of elbow and shoulder joints, DA and PMC muscles, volunteered to participate in the study. Surface electromyography data (AEMG and MPF) were recorded and calculated for PMC and DA muscles of dominant hand, during execution of bench press with both barbell and dumbbell exercise. Subjects performed 10 trials of bench press within 20 seconds. Results showed no significant difference between two execution of bench press with barbell and dumbbell over EMG fluctuation of PMC and DA muscles (P ≤ 0.05). However when EMG fluctuation of PMC and DA muscles were compared with each other, a significant difference was found (P≤0.05), but in both exercise executions the EMG activity of DA was higher than PMC. The results of this study indicated that two execution of bench press with barbell and dumbbell are equally efficient in strengthening the PMC and DA muscles because the posture adapted for elevation with hand dumbbells is essentially the same one observed for elevation with barbell. Otherwise the EMG activity of DA was higher than PMC, because PMC showed abrupt activity to surpass the limb inertia and weight against the gravity action at the initial position but it was found similar behavior for DA in all phase of movement.
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The aim of the current study was to investigate the EMG activity of pectoralis major and latissimus dorsi muscles during the pullover exercise. Eight healthy male volunteers took part in the study. The EMG activity of the pectoralis major and that of the latissimus dorsi of the right side were acquired simultaneously during the pullover exercise with a free-weight barbell during both the concentric and eccentric phases of the movement. After a warm-up, all the subjects were asked to perform the pullover exercise against an external load of 30% of their body weight, during 1 set × 10 repetitions. The criterion adopted to normalize the EMG data was the maximal voluntary isometric activation. The present findings demonstrated that the barbell pullover exercise emphasized the muscle action of the pectoralis major more than that of the latissimus dorsi, and the higher activation depended on the external force lever arm produced.
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The purpose of this study was to examine muscle activity and three-dimensional kinematics in the ascending phase of a successful one-repetition maximum attempt in bench press for 12 recreational weight-training athletes, with special attention to the sticking period. The sticking period was defined as the first period of deceleration of the upward movement (i.e. from the highest barbell velocity until the first local lowest barbell velocity). All participants showed a sticking period during the upward movement that started about 0.2 s after the initial upward movement, and lasted about 0.9 s. Electromyography revealed that the muscle activity of the prime movers changed significantly from the pre-sticking to the sticking and post-sticking periods. A possible mechanism for the existence of the sticking period is the diminishing potentiation of the contractile elements during the upward movement together with the limited activity of the pectoral and deltoid muscles during this period.
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The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of grip width, chest depth, limb lengths, and bar path on the performance of a maximal bench press. Subjects were 24 experienced male weight trainers. Bench press performance was assessed at six different grip widths (G1–G6). Repeated-measures ANOVA with Tukey post hoc comparisons revealed that bench press strength values at the two moderate grip widths (G3 and G4) were significantly greater than either the narrow or wide grip widths. First-order partial correlations showed no significant relationship between strength values and anthropometric variables when adjusted for differences in body weight. Standard two-dimensional cinematographic procedures were used to film a subsample (n = 6) while bench pressing using G1, G3, and G6. The results of the statistical comparisons of bar path indicated that as grip width increased, the horizontal and vertical distance from the bar to the shoulder decreased.
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Although sports are considered an important part of American life, sports science has lost its identity and has largely been replaced by exercise science. Although exercise science may use sport for examples or as handy models for understanding exercise responses, exercise science is seldom concerned with enhancing the sport performance of the athletes it studies. The authors hope that sport science may be resurrected so that modern American athletes can benefit from scientifically derived and tested training methods and thus compete more effectively both at home and abroad. (C) 2004 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association
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The purpose of this study was to determine the relationship between motor unit recruitment within two areas of the pectoralis major and two forms of bench press exercise. Fifteen young men experienced in weight lifting completed 6 repetitions of the bench press at incline and decline angles of +30 and -15[degrees] from horizontal, respectively. Electrodes were placed over the pectoralis major at the 2nd and 5th intercostal spaces, midclavicular line. Surface electromyography was recorded and integrated during the concentric (Con) and eccentric (Ecc) phases of each repetition. Reliability of IEMG across repetitions was r = 0.87. Dependent means t-tests were used to examine motor unit activation for the lower (incline vs. decline) and upper pectoral muscles. Results showed significantly greater lower pectoral Con activation during decline bench press. The same result was seen during the Ecc phase. No significant differences were seen in upper pectoral activation between incline and decline bench press. It is concluded there are variations in the activation of the lower pectoralis major with regard to the angle of bench press, while the upper pectoral portion is unchanged. (C) 1997 National Strength and Conditioning Association
Article
The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of grip width on myoelectric activity of the pectoralis major, anterior deltoid, triceps brachii, and biceps brachii during a 1-RM bench press. Grip widths of 100,130,165, and 190% (G1, 2, 3, 4, respectively) of biacromial breadth were used. Mean integrated myoelectric activity for each muscle and at each grip width was determined for the concentric portion of each 1-RM and normalized to percentages of max volitional isometric contractions (%MVIC). Data analysis employed a one-factor (grip width) univariate repeated measures ANOVA. Results indicated significant main effects for both grip width (p = 0.022) and muscles (p = 0.0001). Contrast analyses were conducted on both main effects. Significant differences (p <= 0.05) were found between grip widths G4 and both Gl and G2 relative to %MVIC. Significant %MVIC differences on the muscles main effect were also found. All prime movers registered significantly greater %MVICs than the biceps and, in addition, the triceps %MVIC was greater than the pectoralis major. (C) 1997 National Strength and Conditioning Association
Article
This study compared the activation of the clavicular head and the sternocostal head of the pectoralis major and the anterior deltoid when performing the bench press at several different angles. Fifteen healthy male subjects participated in this study. Subjects performed the chest press exercise at 0 (flat bench), 28, 44, and 56 degrees above horizontal using 70% of their respective 1 repetition maximum for each angle. Electromyographic activity was recorded during each repetition. Activation of the clavicular head of the pectoralis major was significantly greater at 44 degrees compared to 0 degrees (p = 0.010), at 56 degrees compared to 0 degrees (p = 0.013), and at 44 degrees compared to 28 degrees (p = 0.003). Activation of the sternocostal head of the pectoralis major was significantly greater at 0 degrees compared to 28 degrees (p = 0.013), at 0 degrees compared to 44 degrees (p = 0.018), at 0 degrees compared to 56 degrees (p = 0.001), at 28 degrees compared to 56 degrees (p = 0.003), and at 44 degrees compared to 56 degrees (p = 0.001). Activation of the anterior deltoid was significantly greater at 28 degrees compared to 0 degrees (p = 0.002), at 44 degrees compared to 0 degrees (p = 0.012), and at 56 degrees compared to 0 degrees (p = 0.014). To optimize recruiting the involved musculature, it would seem that performing both the flat and incline chest press exercises is necessary.