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Abstract

Push-up exercises are commonly performed to strengthen the upper extremity muscles. However, the relationship between the push-up speed and upper extremity fatigue is not well understood. Accordingly, the present study investigated the effect of the push-up speed on the maximum possible number of push-up repetitions until fatigue and the upper-extremity muscle activity, respectively, in order to identify suitable push-up strategies for upper-extremity muscular strengthening. Fifteen healthy males participated in the study. Each subject performed push-ups at three different speeds (i.e., fast: 7 push-ups/10 s; regular: 5 push-ups/10 s; and slow: 4 push-ups/10 s) until fatigued. The muscle activity signals were measured during the push-up tests via surface electromyography. The strengthening effect of the push-up exercises was evaluated by measuring the myodynamic decline rate at the shoulder, elbow and wrist joints using an isokinetic dynamometer. The results showed that the maximum possible number of push-up repetitions at the fast push-up speed was around 1.34 and 1.33 times higher than that at the regular push-up speed or slow push-up speed, respectively. However, the endurance time (i.e., the time to fatigue) at the slow push-up speed was around 1.20 and 1.24 times longer than that at the fast push-up speed or regular push-up speed, respectively. Finally, at the slow push-up speed, the total muscle activations in the triceps brachii, biceps brachii, anterior deltoid, pectoralis major, and posterior deltoid, respectively, were 1.47, 2.43, 1.42, 1.48, and 1.91 times higher than those at the fast push-up speed. Therefore, the experimental results suggest that push-ups should be performed at a faster speed when the aim is to achieve a certain number of repetitions, but should be performed at a slower speed when the aim is to strengthen the upper extremity muscles.
Journal of Medical and Biological Engineering, 31(4): 289-293
289
Effect of Push-up Speed on Upper Extremity Training until
Fatigue
Hsiu-Hao Hsu
1
You-Li Chou
2
Yen-Po Huang
1
Ming-Jer Huang
1,3
Shu-Zon Lou
4
Paul Pei-Hsi Chou
5,6,7,
*
1
Department of Engineering Science, National Cheng-Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan, ROC
2
Institute of Biomedical Engineering, National Cheng-Kung University, Tainan 701, Taiwan, ROC
3
Department of Logistics and Technology Management, Leader University, Tainan 709, Taiwan, ROC
4
School of Occupational Therapy, Chung Shan Medical University, Taichung 402, Taiwan, ROC
5
Faculty of Sports Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan, ROC
6
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung 807, Taiwan, ROC
7
Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Kaohsiung Municipal Hsiao-Kang Hospital, Kaohsiung 812, Taiwan, ROC
Received 9 Sep 2010; Accepted 17 Nov 2010;
doi: 10.5405/jmbe.844
Abstract
Push-up exercises are commonly performed to strengthen the upper extremity muscles. However, the relationship
between the push-up speed and upper extremity fatigue is not well understood. Accordingly, the present study
investigated the effect of the push-up speed on the maximum possible number of push-up repetitions until fatigue and
the upper-extremity muscle activity, respectively, in order to identify suitable push-up strategies for upper-extremity
muscular strengthening. Fifteen healthy males participated in the study. Each subject performed push-ups at three
different speeds (i.e., fast: 7 push-ups/10 s; regular: 5 push-ups/10 s; and slow: 4 push-ups/10 s) until fatigued. The
muscle activity signals were measured during the push-up tests via surface electromyography. The strengthening effect
of the push-up exercises was evaluated by measuring the myodynamic decline rate at the shoulder, elbow and wrist
joints using an isokinetic dynamometer. The results showed that the maximum possible number of push-up repetitions
at the fast push-up speed was around 1.34 and 1.33 times higher than that at the regular push-up speed or slow push-up
speed, respectively. However, the endurance time (i.e., the time to fatigue) at the slow push-up speed was around 1.20
and 1.24 times longer than that at the fast push-up speed or regular push-up speed, respectively. Finally, at the slow
push-up speed, the total muscle activations in the triceps brachii, biceps brachii, anterior deltoid, pectoralis major, and
posterior deltoid, respectively, were 1.47, 2.43, 1.42, 1.48, and 1.91 times higher than those at the fast push-up speed.
Therefore, the experimental results suggest that push-ups should be performed at a faster speed when the aim is to
achieve a certain number of repetitions, but should be performed at a slower speed when the aim is to strengthen the
upper extremity muscles.
Keywords: Push-up, Upper extremity, Electromyography (EMG), Isokinetic dynamometer, Muscular strengthening
1. Introduction
Push-up exercises are convenient, easily learned, and
readily adapted to various levels of difficulty. As a result, they
are commonly performed by health-conscious individuals and
athletes to strengthen the upper extremity muscles [1]. When
performing upper extremity movements, stability of the joints
is ensured not only by the surrounding tissue (e.g., the
ligaments and capsules), but also by the muscular contraction
strength. As a result, maintaining and improving the muscular
* Corresponding author: Paul Pei-Hsi Chou
Tel: 886-7-3208209; Fax: 886-7-3119544
E-mail: pc.arthroscopy@gmail.com
strength is essential in enhancing an individual’s performance
ability and preventing movement-related injuries. Of all the
training exercises available for the upper extremity, push-ups
are among the most common since they yield a notable
improvement in both the muscle strength and the muscle
endurance.
Many studies have established biomechanical kinematic
and kinetic models of the upper extremity [2-6]. Furthermore,
the effects of different types of push-ups on the degree of
muscle activation have also been reported. For example, a
narrow base position results in significantly higher
electromyography (EMG) activities of the pectoralis major and
triceps brachii muscle groups than a wide base position [7].
Similarly, the pectoralis major muscle activation in posterior
J. Med. Biol. Eng., Vol. 31 No. 4 2011
290
push-ups is higher than normal, whereas the triceps muscle
activation is lower than normal [8]. However, the correlation
between the push-up speed and the strengthening effect of
push-up exercises is not yet clear. Therefore, the implications
of the push-up speed on the muscular performance and the
maximum possible number of repetitions are also not fully
understood. Accordingly, this study investigated the effect of
the push-up speed (fast, regular and slow) on the maximum
possible number of repetitions, the endurance time, the
upper-extremity muscle activation, and the myodynamic
decline rate. The myodynamic decline rate in different
isometric test conditions was measured using an isokinetic
dynamometer and the muscle activity at different push-up
speeds is measured via surface electromyography. The study
provides an insight into the different usage mechanisms of the
muscle groups when performing push-ups at different speeds
and enables the identification of appropriate push-up strategies
for upper extremity training.
2. Materials and methods
2.1 Participants and experimental protocol
Fifteen physically healthy male students participated in the
investigation. The subjects ranged from 22 to 27 yrs of age
(24.27 ± 1.22 yrs), 60 to 84 kg in weight (72.47 ± 5.93 kg), and
170 to 180 cm in height (174.67 ± 2.87 cm). The BMI of the
participants ranged from 20 to 26 kg/m
2
(23.7 ± 1.8 kg/m
2
). All
of the participants were right-hand dominant and free of
upper-extremity disorders.
The effect of the push-up speed on the myodynamic (i.e.,
muscle strength) decline rate was examined by measuring the
torque at the shoulder, elbow and wrist joints before and after
the push-up exercises using an isokinetic dynamometer (Kin
Com KC125AF, Kin Com Isokinetic International Corp.,
Harrison, TN). As shown in Fig. 1, each subject was asked to
perform ten isometric tests, namely shoulder extension (SE),
shoulder flexion (SF), shoulder abduction (SAB), shoulder
adduction (SAD), shoulder external rotation (SRE), shoulder
internal rotation (SRI), elbow extension (EE), elbow flexion
(EF), forearm supination (FS) and forearm pronation (FP). In
each case, the myodynamic decline rate was calculated as
(T
pre
T
post
)/T
pre
, where T
pre
and T
post
are the measured torque
values before and after the push-up test, respectively.
The muscle activity signals at the different push-up speeds
were measured using a surface electromyography (sEMG)
system (MA300, Motion Analysis Corp.) at a sampling rate of
1000 Hz. For each subject, EMG sensors were attached to the
supinator, pronator teres, triceps brachii, middle deltoid, biceps
brachii, anterior deltoid, pectoralis major, posterior deltoid,
infraspinatus and teres minor muscle groups [9,10]. Having
attached the EMG electrodes, the subjects performed a series of
3-second maximum voluntary isometric contractions (MVIC)
of the relative muscle group in order to obtain a datum with
which to normalize the EMG data acquired during the push-up
tests [10]. The raw sEMG data collected during the tests were
exported to Matlab (Mathworks Inc., Natick, MA, USA) for
Shoulder
Extension
Shoulder
Flexion
Shoulder
Abduction
Shoulder
Adduction
Shoulder
Internal Rotation
Shoulder
External Rotation
Elbow
Extension
Elbow
Flexion
Wrist
Supination
Wrist
Pronation
Figure 1. Isometric test conditions used to evaluate rate of myodynamic
decline following push-up tests.
further analysis and processing. The data were initially rectified
by converting the negative voltage signals to positive signals,
and a linear envelope was then used to estimate the volume of
the muscle activation. The sEMG data were divided by the
corresponding MVIC value in order to obtain a normalized
MVIC value (%MVIC) in the range 0~100% [10,11]. It should
be noted that the actual muscle activation during the push-up
exercises was determined from the vertical displacement
history of a reflexive marker attached to the 4th thoracic
vertebrae rather than from the EMG data. In addition, the
duration over which the volume of muscle activation was
evaluated in this study was defined as the total duration of the
push-up test (i.e., from the start of the test until the point of
fatigue). The total muscle activation (TMA) in each push-up
test was computed as
0
()
TMA ( ) 100%
T
EMG t
EMG t dt
MVIC

(1)
where T is the total duration of the test.
Before starting the push-up tests, the subjects were asked
to extend their elbows fully and to position both hands in a
forearm axially non-rotated posture. The hand width was set to
1.5 times the shoulder width and the feet were set to one
shoulder-width apart. The subjects were asked to perform
push-ups at three different speeds, namely fast, regular and
slow. In every case, the up and down stages of the push-up
cycle were indicated audibly by an electronic metronome. For
the fast push-up repetitions, the metronome was set to 84 beats
per minute (bpm), i.e., 42 cycles per minute (equivalent to
7 push-ups/10s). Meanwhile, for the regular and slow push-up
repetitions, the metronome beat was set to 60 bpm
(5 push-ups/10 s) and 48 bpm (4 push-ups/10 s), respectively.
The investigation commenced with the fast push-up tests. The
subjects were instructed to perform push-ups for 15 seconds in
accordance with the instructed cadence. After 15 seconds, the
subjects were told to wait for around 5 seconds to allow for
data recording, and were then requested to repeat the same
procedure (i.e., push-ups for 15 seconds followed by a 5 second
pause) until they were completely fatigued, i.e., they had
completely exhausted their energy and stamina, and were
Push-up Speed on Upper Extremity Strengthening
291
physically unable to perform any more repetitions. Following a
rest period of two weeks, the experimental procedure was
repeated at the regular push-up speed. Finally, following a
further two-week rest period, the experimental procedure was
repeated once again at the slow push-up speed.
2.2 Statistical analysis
The number of push-up repetitions, the endurance time, the
myodynamic decline data, and the sEMG data were analyzed
using SPSS statistical software (SPSS Inc., Chicago, Illinois,
USA). In addition, the myodynamic decline data and sEMG data
were analyzed via repeated-measure one-way analysis of
variance (rmANOVA) tests using a significance level of
P < 0.05. In performing the tests, the push-up speed was treated
as the independent variable and the myodynamic decline rate
and the TMA were treated as dependent variables. A post-hoc
analysis of the effect of the push-up speed on the dependent
variables was performed using the Bonferroni method.
3. Results
3.1 Total number of push-up repetitions and endurance time
In performing the push-up tests, the subjects were asked
to try and keep up with the designated push-up speed as best as
they could, even as they became tired. The average cycle times
of the fast, regular and slow push-ups were found to be
1.67 ± 0.14 s, 2.14 ± 0.09 s and 2.63 ± 0.07 s, respectively.
Even though the average cycle time was longer than the
instructed cadence as a result of the subjects becoming tired, a
significant difference existed in the average cycle times of the
tests performed at the three different push-up speeds. Table 1
presents the statistical results for the maximum number of
push-ups before fatigue and the endurance time at each of the
three push-up speeds. As shown, a significant difference
(P = 0.012) existed in the maximum number of push-ups
performed at the three different speeds. In addition, it is
observed that the maximum number of push-ups was obtained
at the highest push-up speed. Finally, it is seen that the
endurance time at the slow push-up speed (101.2 s) was
significantly longer (p = 0.038) than that at the fast or regular
push-up speed.
Table 1. Maximum number of push-up repetitions and endurance time
for push-ups performed at various speeds until fatigue.
Push-up
speed
Fast
mean (SD)
Slow
mean (SD)
P
§
Post hoc
Number of
times
51.3 (13.9)
38.6 (7.5)
0.012
*
F>R, S
duration
time (sec)
84.2 (17.3)
101.2 (18.9)
0.038
*
S>F, R
F: fast push-up speed
† R: regular push-up speed
‡ S: slow push-up speed
§ P value is significance of one-way ANOVA.
* Significant differences (P < 0.05) among three push-up speeds.
3.2 Effect of push-up speed on myodynamic decline rate
Table 2 shows the myodynamic decline rate for each of
the ten isometric conditions following completion of the fast,
regular and slow push-up tests, respectively. The results show
that a myodynamic decline of more than 45% occurred in the
SE, SF, SAB, SAD, EE and EF isometric tests. However, for a
given isometric test condition, there was no significant
difference in the myodynamic decline rate among the three
different push-up speeds.
Table 2. Rate of myodynamic decline following push-ups performed at
various speeds until fatigue.
Push-up
speed
Fast
Regular
Slow
P
§
Mean decline rate
Mean decline
rate
Mean decline
rate
Shoulder
SE
50.62%
48.61%
51.11%
0.933
SF
49.27%
40.49%
47.30%
0.399
SAB
47.85%
48.65%
51.95%
0.721
SAD
50.86%
48.78%
49.92%
0.943
SRE
39.12%
42.28%
41.56%
0.812
SRI
37.74%
42.29%
40.36%
0.687
Elbow
EE
44.27%
43.07%
44.69%
0.938
EF
46.48%
40.94%
44.52%
0.549
Forearm
FS
37.75%
35.15%
38.21%
0.730
FP
35.01%
34.42%
37.17%
0.845
P
§
0.007
**
0.015
*
0.236
Post hoc
SE > SRE, SRI, FS, FP
SF > SRI, FS, FP
SAB > FP
SAD > SRE, SRI, FS, FP
EF > FP
SE > FS, FP
SAB > FS, FP
SAD > FS, FP
SE > FP
SAB > FS, FP
§ P value shows significance by one-way ANOVA.
* Significant differences (P < 0.05) among ten isometric tests.
** Significant differences (P < 0.01) among ten isometric tests.
3.3 Va riation in myodynamic decline rate among different
isometric test conditions
Table 2 shows that for each push-up speed, a significant
difference existed in the myodynamic decline rates associated
with the different isometric conditions (i.e., P = 0.007,
0.015 and 0.236 for the fast, regular and slow push-up speeds,
respectively).
3.4 Muscle activity
Table 3 presents the TMA results for each of the
10 muscle groups over the full duration of the fast, regular and
slow push-up tests, respectively. It can be seen that for all
muscle groups, the TMA in the slow push-up tests was
significantly higher than that in the regular push-up tests or
fast push-up tests. The higher TMA was particularly apparent
in the biceps brachii, triceps brachii, (P < 0.05), anterior
deltoid, posterior deltoid, and posterior deltoid muscle groups
(P = 0.053~0.058).
4. Discussion
The experimental results presented in this study show that
push-ups have a significant effect on the upper-extremity
strengthening process. Table 2 shows that a myodynamic
decline occurred in each of the considered isometric test
conditions following the push-up exercises. However, for a
given isometric condition, the push-up speed had no significant
J. Med. Biol. Eng., Vol. 31 No. 4 2011
292
Table 3. Total muscle activation (TMA) over whole push-up cycle for push-ups performed at various speeds.
Push-up Speed
Fast
Mean (SD)
Regular
Mean (SD)
Slow
Mean (SD)
P
§
Post hoc
Supinator
1261.56 (752.15)
1149.39 (619.87)
1641.85 (1075.29)
0.425
Pronator teres
941.04 (367.58)
1119.98 (749.27)
1530.81 (858.11)
0.200
Triceps brachii
2138.91 (775.92)
2038.74 (526.01)
3145.29 (1044.76)
0.012**
S>F, R
Middle deltoid
1243.85 (535.12)
1568.75 (818.10)
2205.96 (1191.52)
0.104
Biceps brachii
714.37 (288.00)
806.07 (692.50)
1732.77 (775.09)
0.006**
S>F, R
Anterior deltoid
1612.20 (730.92)
1636.69 (449.21)
2295.36 (707.65)
0.053
Pectoralis major
2114.23 (814.05)
2249.87 (968.03)
3121.81 (988.68)
0.054
Posterior deltoid
1159.48 (517.40)
1378.25 (584.92)
2217.42 (1399.48)
0.058
Infraspinatus
1216.83 (691.58)
1381.67 (926.22)
1973.02 (1018.66)
0.207
Teres minor
1381.88 (994.21)
1619.22 (722.59)
2431.47 (1065.04)
0.055
unit: %MVIC·sec
F: fast push-up speed
R: regular push-up speed
S: slow push-up speed
§ P value shows significance by one-way ANOVA.
** Significant differences (P < 0.01) among three push-up speed.
effect on the myodynamic decline rate. This result is to be
expected since the myodynamic decline rate was measured
once the subjects were completely fatigued, irrespective of the
speed at which the repetitions were performed.
However, for a given push-up speed, the myodynamic
decline rates measured under the different isometric conditions
were significantly different. As shown in the lower row of
Table 2, the difference in the myodynamic decline rate among
the different isometric conditions was more significant
following the push-up tests performed at a fast speed
(P = 0.007) than following the tests performed at the regular
speed (P = 0.015) or the slow speed (P = 0.236). In other
words, the difference in the effort exerted by the different upper
extremity muscle groups increased as the push-up speed
increased, but reduced as the push-up speed reduced. This
finding can be explained by considering the effect of the
push-up speed on the different usage of the muscle groups.
As shown in Fig. 2, the peak EMG activity of the triceps
brachii muscle group occurred at the lowest position of the
push-up cycle at all three push-up speeds. However, the peaks
in the EMG curve obtained in the slow push-up test were lower
and broader than those in the curves obtained in the fast
push-up test. In the fast push-up tests, the muscle groups did
not need to support the body weight for a prolonged period of
time during the “descending” stage and ascending stages.
Instead, they were used predominantly to control the
deceleration of the body at the end of the “descending” stage
and to control the acceleration of the body at the beginning of
the “ascending stage”. By contrast, in the slow push-up tests,
the muscle groups were required to drive the body at a more
consistent speed throughout the entire push-up cycle. In
general, the change in acceleration when switching from the
“descending” stage of the repetition to the “ascending” stage is
accomplished using a subset of the upper extremity muscle
groups, i.e., the posterior deltoid, anterior deltoid, middle
deltoid, pectoralis major, triceps brachii and biceps brachii
[9,10]. However, supporting the body weight over the entire
push-up cycle involves all of the muscle groups. As a result, the
difference in the myodynamic decline rate observed under
different isometric conditions was more noticeable following
the high-speed tests than after the regular or slow-speed tests.
Table 2 shows that the largest myodynamic decline rates
occurred in the SE, SF, SAB, SAD, EE, and EF isometric test
conditions, which involved the posterior deltoid, anterior
deltoid, middle deltoid, pectoralis major, triceps brachii and
biceps brachii muscle groups, respectively [12]. These muscle
groups correspond exactly with those groups responsible for
controlling the change in acceleration during the push-up cycle.
Therefore, it can be inferred that irrespective of the speed at
which the push-ups are performed, the process of controlling
the change in acceleration of the body weight is responsible for
most of the energy consumed in each push-up cycle.
Figure 2. Mean normalized EMG activity of triceps brachii during a
single push-up cycle.
Table 1 shows that the maximum number of repetitions at
a fast push-up speed was significant higher than that at a
regular push-up speed or slow push-up speed. However,
Table 3 shows that a faster push-up speed did not result in a
greater muscle activation. Among the three push-up speeds, the
slow push-up speed resulted in a significantly larger TMA than
the regular or fast push-up speed. Since, a similar number of
repetitions were performed at the slow and regular push-up
speeds, respectively, the larger TMA at a slow push-up speed
Push-up Speed on Upper Extremity Strengthening
293
was most likely the result of a longer endurance time. That is,
the subjects spent a greater amount of time supporting their
body weight prior to fatigue when performing the push-ups at a
slow speed than when performing the push-ups at a regular
speed.
5. Conclusions
This study examined the effect of the push-up speed (fast,
regular and slow) on the myodynamic decline rate and
activation of the upper extremity muscle groups. At a fast
push-up speed, the maximum number of push-up repetitions
prior to fatigue was found to be 1.34 and 1.33 times higher than
that at a regular push-up speed or slow push-up speed,
respectively. However, the endurance time (i.e. the time to
fatigue) at a slow push-up speed was around 1.20 and
1.24 times longer than that at a fast push-up speed or regular
push-up speed, respectively. In addition, at a slow push-up
speed, the TMAs of the triceps brachii, biceps brachii, anterior
deltoid, pectoralis major, and posterior deltoid muscle groups
were 1.47, 2.43, 1.42, 1.48, and 1.91 times higher than those at
a fast push-up speed, respectively. Finally, the myodynamic
decline rate of the upper extremity muscles was found to be
independent of the push-up speed. Overall, the results suggest
that a slow push-up speed delays the occurrence of fatigue and
increases the muscle activation. By contrast, a fast push-up
speed increases the maximum number of push-up repetitions,
but reduces the muscle activation. Accordingly, the present
findings suggest two different push-up strategies. That is, when
a certain number of push-up repetitions are to be performed
(e.g., as part of military training), the repetitions should be
performed at a faster speed since this requires a lower muscle
activation and less effort. Conversely, when the aim is to
develop upper-body strength (e.g., in athletic training), the
push-ups should be performed more slowly since this increases
the muscle activation.
Acknowledgement
This study was supported by the National Science Council
of Taiwan under Contract No. NSC 96-221-E-037-002-MY3.
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... There are also many push-up exercise variations, and these variations may vary depending on the training goal or the individuals' fitness level. Some of those; performing the exercise at different velocities [5,8,16], changing posture and hand positions on the ground [2,7,10], performing exercise at different ground elevation [10], changing ground surface [11] or on knee push-up [5][6][7]. The push-up is a closedchain exercise and although the performing is simple, there are important points to be considered like any exercise. ...
... In the same study, also found that lower-tempo (48 bpm) pushup can significantly reduce the load on the elbow joint and this tempo increases muscle activation on biceps brachii, triceps brachii and posterior deltoid muscle 1.62, 1.39 and 1.99 times than fast push-up tempo, respectively. In addition to these, muscle activations at slow tempo push-ups also found that triceps brachii 1.47, biceps brachii 2.43, anterior deltoid 1.42, pectoralis major 1.48 and posterior deltoid 1.91 times more active than the fast tempo pushups and also the slow tempo delayed the onset of fatigue [8]. Yoo et al. [15] found that push-up exercise performed at different tempo also caused a change in the activation of the serratus anterior muscle, showing that the fast tempo (2s for each push-up) had less activation than the slower tempo (3s for each push-up). ...
... This might cause less muscle activation in EXP, and the fatigue occurs later in push-up due to the inability to use full ROM. Hsu et al. [8] observed that fatigue occurs later at fast tempos. This situation may be supported by this study with less used ROM and joint displacement. ...
Article
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Study aim This study was aimed to analysis in detail how different tempos [2:0:2 (30 bpm), 1:0:1 (60 bpm), Explosive (EXP)] effect to ground reaction forces (vGRF) and joint kinematics of push-up exercise (PUP). Material and methods Twenty-four recreationally male athletes (age: 24.9 ± 3.6 years) participated in this study. Kinetic and kinematic data were obtained by load-cells and a motion analysis software. Data was analysed from a single repetition which is showed peak vGRF of dominant side during PUP. Joint velocities were calculated by taking the difference between the descent and ascent phases. Results There was significant difference between 2:0:2 (30 bpm) – EXP in terms of dominant side of shoulder (p ≤ 0.02) and between 1:0:1 (60 bpm) – EXP in the dominant elbow joint displacements (p ≤ 0.05). The velocity differences between the descent and ascent phases of shoulder and elbow joints were found statistically significant between tempos (p ≤ 0.05). In terms of range of motion (ROM) of right and left side, there was significant differences between tempos (p ≤ 0.001). No significant differences were found between all tempos in the ascent phase of right-left and left descent phase in terms of average vGRF (p > 0.05) except right descent average vGRF (p ≤ 0.02). Conclusions In conclusion, right-left sides of ROM was used most effectively in 2:0:2 (30 bpm) and 1:0:1 (60 bpm) tempos. Less displacement was also observed in EXP and when tempo increased percentage of peak vGRF (at elbow flexion phase for right-left sides) to total repetition decreased. Highest ascent and descent phase velocity differences (for right-left sides) and highest peak vGRF (elbow flexion phase) observed in EXP. This study shows that increasing tempo will result in more unsteady joint kinematics and more vGRF, so if the goal is controlled and safe PUP, tempo should be slow.
... Researchers in [55] investigated the push-up speed, whereas another study [56] used different speeds and exercise intensities during bench-press, and another one [36] investigated the effects of the exercise sequence on muscle activation and fatigue. [57] investigated bodyweight suspension (BWS) exercise and compares the results with barbell. ...
... New motor neurons are adopted as older ones become exhausted or in case in which more force is required to perform the task. The process of the adoption of new MUs and the recovery of exhausted MUs or the sustainability (how long the MUs can sustain the task) of the recruited MUs could be enhanced by muscle training (exercise) [42,55,76]. The starting (when the muscle is normal) and final (when the muscle is fatigued) median frequencies are generally independent of the methodology (intensity of contractions) used to achieve fatigue [12]. ...
... Two studies [14] and [50] demonstrated that training using a specific task increases the median frequency and hence delays the occurrence of fatigue. Here, the intensity and order of training are major issues and [55,56] demonstrated that muscles show higher activation (require more effort) with slower but steady training and that faster movements require less efforts. The manuscript [56] explains that the order of training for a particular muscle group does not matter. ...
Article
Objective The objective of this research was to summarize and analyse the research findings regarding analysis of fatigue in the human triceps brachii (TB) muscle through surface electromyography (sEMG) observations. Methods We systematically searched through five major online scientific databases namely the PubMed, Science Direct, Wiley Online, Springer Link and SCOPUS databases, for articles written in the English language from the year 2001 to March 2017. We specifically searched for the words/phrases “surface electromyography” OR “sEMG” AND “muscle fatigue” AND “triceps” in the title, abstract and keywords to narrow our search and identified 291 articles, of which, 52 were found potentially the most relevant. Results Of 52 considered articles, 11 analysed fatigue in sports, 11 investigated rehabilitation, 15 considered exercises or trainings, 5 used TB as a co-activator or antagonist, and 5 contemplated elbow extension movements. In addition, 4 of the articles investigated both elbow flexors and extensors and 1 studied training effects in rehabilitation. Conclusion Although, many studies in this particular field have considered the TB, further investigations are required to explain some specific facts about fatigue in the TB. The compensation strategy that muscles use to overcome fatigue, the stabilization, overcoming of errors during fatigue along with effect of mental load on brachii muscles and the effect of sports drinks and other eatables on fatigue are a few potential zones that require further in-depth research. This study will guide and direct new researchers to areas that remain hidden.
... We observed the ET and NR to be higher at lower intensities (Figure 4), and concurs with the results of a previous study (Hsu et al., 2011). The higher ROF might be one of the important reasons explaining the lower ET and NR values obtained at higher intensities. ...
... In addition to the exercise intensity, the exercise speed also impacts the attributes of a muscle. Previous researchers have demonstrated that performing exercise at higher frequencies results in a greater ROF (Hsu et al., 2011), and our results concur with this finding (Table 1 and Figure 5B). One of the possible reasons for this higher ROF might be restriction in the blood flow supply at higher speeds (Griffin et al., 2001), which might lead to insufficient oxygen delivery and inadequate removal of metabolic waste from muscles (Oyewole, 2014). ...
Article
Full-text available
The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of changes in exercise intensity and speed on the three heads of the triceps brachii (TB) during triceps push-down exercise until task failure. Twenty-five subjects performed triceps push-down exercise at three different intensities (30, 45, and 60% 1RM) and speeds (slow, medium, and fast) until failure, and surface electromyography (sEMG) signals were recorded from the lateral, long and medial heads of the TB. The endurance time (ET), number of repetitions (NR) and rate of fatigue (ROF) were analyzed. Subsequently, the root-mean-square (RMS), mean power frequency (MPF) and median frequency (MDF) under no-fatigue (NF) and fatigue (Fa) conditions were statistically compared. The findings reveal that ROF increases with increase in the intensity and speed, and the opposite were obtained for the ET. The ROF in the three heads were comparable for all intensities and speeds. The ROF showed a significant difference (P < 0.05) among the three intensities and speeds for all heads. The three heads showed significantly different (P < 0.05) MPF and MDF values for all the performed exercises under both conditions, whereas the RMS values were significantly different only under Fa conditions. The current observations suggest that exercise intensity and speed affect the ROF while changes in intensity do not affect the MPF and MDF under Fa conditions. The behavior of the spectral parameters indicate that the three heads do not work in unison under any of the conditions. Changes in the speed of triceps push-down exercise affects the lateral and long heads, but changes in the exercise intensity affected the attributes of all heads to a greater extent.
... The pace of the push up we set at slow pace. Several literature had indicated that a slow pace would give an individual more strain and pain and thus the individual would gain more strength and muscle mass and this is concurred by Hsu in his paper [10]. With this in mind, our calisthenic exercises involving all body parts were set at slow pace. ...
Article
Full-text available
Maintenance works upon aircraft is complicated and involve the use of myriad body parts of the personnel that actuate maintenance. It's imperative for workers to be physically fit as this affects the output of the work and safety. This paper proposed a physical exercises framework that could be used by Aircraft Maintenance Students where this framework could be used by the Territorial Army to train the students that are involved in the Territorial Army.
... One important factor to consider is the speed of the movement, which influences the amount of muscle activation (Sakamoto and Sinclair, 2012). The previous studies did not report on the speed of the movement whereas the movement speed considered for this study was considered to be faster compared to prior studies (Hsu et al., 2011;Sakamoto and Sinclair, 2012). Sakamoto and Sinclair (2012) for example had participants perform their bench press at 0.5 rep/sec compared to 1 second concentric and eccentric durations respectively in the present study. ...
Article
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Push-ups are an ubiquitous resistance training exercise. While exhibiting a relatively similar upper body motion to the bench press, there are substantial differences in repetitions when employing similar relative loads. The objective was to examine sex-related differences in repetitions and muscle activation associated with push-ups and bench press exercises. Twenty resistance-trained participants (10 men [22 ± 6.1 years] and 10 [24 ± 5.7 years] women) performed maximum push-up and bench press repetitions with loads relative to the body mass during a push-up. Electromyographic (EMG) electrodes were positioned on the middle and anterior deltoids, triceps and biceps brachii, and pectoralis major muscles and their relative (normalized to a maximum voluntary contraction) activity was compared between the two exercises performed to task failure. Both females (3.5 ± 3.9 vs.15.5 ± 8.0 repetitions; p = 0.0008) and males (12.0 ± 6.3 vs. 25.6 ± 5.2 repetitions; p < 0.0001) performed 77.4% and 53.1% less bench press than push-up repetitions respectively. Males significantly exceeded females with both push-ups (p = 0.01) and bench press (p = 0.004) repetitions. Significant linear regression equations were found for females (r2 = 0.55; p = 0.03), and males (r2 = 0.66; p < 0.0001) indicating that bench press repetitions increased 0.36 and 0.97 for each push-up repetition for females and males respectively. Triceps (p = 0.002) and biceps brachii (p = 0.03) EMG mean amplitude was significantly lower during the push-up concentric phase, while the anterior deltoid (p = 0.03) exhibited less activity during the bench press eccentric phase. The sex disparity in repetitions during these exercises indicates that a push-up provides a greater challenge for women than men and regression equations may be helpful for both sexes when formulating training programs.
... Yu et al. developed a wireless medical sensor measurement system, inclusive of electromyography (EMG), motion detection, and muscle strength, to detect fatigue in multiple sclerosis patients [3]. There are many applications based upon S-EMG, such as exercise analysis, fitness monitoring [4,5], and upper limb prosthesis control [6]. Therefore, there are several applications of EMG-driven muscle models for determining muscle forces in the ankle, knee, back, and upper limb, for normal and pathological conditions [7,8]. ...
Article
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Introduction: The main objective of the present study is to compute muscle strength in terms of muscle force and fatigue for biceps brachii, using trained and untrained subjects in static contraction (isometric contraction). Methods: There are two groups of 14 subjects each as trained subjects and untrained subjects. An isometric contraction is performed by two groups at three submaximal contraction levels L1 (50% MVC), L2 (75% MVC) and L3 (100% MVC) for 60 s each or until task failure, whichever comes first. The study compared the strength of the two groups based on maximal isometric muscle force and state of muscle fatigue using the slope of median frequency (MDF). Results: It was found that there was an 18.39% increase in the biceps brachii muscle strength for trained subjects as compared with untrained (P < 0.05), and the difference in the value of MDF between trained and untrained subjects was 1.36% at L1, 3.48% at L2 and 6.17% at L3. The untrained group showed a more negative slope (−0.2470) as compared to the trained group (−0.2155). Clinical implementation: The proposed method is clinically validated on total knee replaced patients with their consent. Conclusions: The method is used to monitor the muscle strength and for prognosis of muscle fatigue in isometric contraction.
... Surface electromyogram (sEMG) is the result of measurement by electrodes which attached to the surface of a skin, above a muscle of interest [1]. The applications based on sEMG have been widely used such as upper limb prosthesis control [2], exercise and fitness monitoring [3] [4]. General physical strength training in fitness should have a specific objective, for example targeting the biceps muscle. ...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to improve the physical performance of arms extracurricular students arm of SMAN 2 Lamongan students who have weaknesses during physical evaluation. Forty healthy students by looking at nutritional status through body mass index (BMI) were selected according to criteria and performed pretest and rankings so that they were included in traditional push up, plyometric push up, incline push up and control group. 30 seconds push up, 60 seconds push up and medicine ball test are used to measure performance improvement. All three groups participated in the study three days a week for six weeks and completed 18 training sessions, at a frequency of 3 sessions per week. The result of paired sample t-test in traditional push-up group showed significant influence on strength and endurance variables, plyometric push up group showed significant influence on strength and power variables, and incline push up group showed significant influence on strength and endurance variables. It was concluded from this research that the training of traditional push up, plyometric push up and incline push up are effective for improving upper body performance.
Article
Bench-press exercises are convenient, easily learned, and readily adapted to various levels of difficulty. This study investigates the effect of the fatigue on the maximum possible number of repetitions, the cycle time, myodynamic decline rate and joint force and joint moment in bench-press exercises. The myodynamic decline rate in different isometric test conditions is measured using an isokinetic dynamometer and the kinetics at the maximum possible number of repetitions is measured. The aim of the experiments was to analyze the effect of fatigue on the shoulder joint in the Initial Stage (IS) of the repetitive bench-press exercise and in the Fatigue Stage (FS). Fifteen physically healthy male students performed bench-press exercises until the fatigue stage occurred. The joint kinematics and kinetics in the initial stage and fatigue stage of the bench-press exercise were calculated and analyzed using a laboratory-developed three-dimensional motion analysis system. Decline Rate of Bench-Press (MDRBP) were examined by measuring the torque at the shoulder using an isokinetic dynamometer. The results showed that the fatigue contribute to a significant effect on the myodynamic and kinetic performance of the shoulder joint. After Bench-Press (FSABP), there was significant difference between the cycle time in the IS and FS. When subjects approach fatigue condition, the axial compression forces decreased and the abduction/adduction moment increased. Significant decrease in muscle strength were also observed in shoulder abduction/adduction, flexion/extension, and internal rotation/external rotation. The results obtained in this study not only describe the relationship between the effect of fatigue across the shoulder joint myodynamics and kinetics but also provide useful biomechanical information for exercise training and clinical rehabilitation regarding to the strategy of performing bench-press until completely fatigue for strengthening the upper extremity may be a risk of injury. Therefore, bench-press repetition should be carefully monitored before the stage of fatigue in athletic training or muscle strengthening of the upper extremity.
Article
Push-up is a common exercise used for strengthening the upper extremity muscles. Knowledge of elbow kinematics and kinetics may be helpful in preventing injuries due to push-ups if the elbow shear force can be reduced. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of different push-up speeds on elbow joint loading. Fourteen healthy male graduate students volunteered for this investigation. In a motion analysis laboratory, the Expert Vision motion system with eight 240 Hz cameras and 1000 Hz Kistler force plates were used to measure relative joint positions and ground reaction forces. The surface electromyography (EMG) was used to measure the signals of muscle activity. Each subject performed push-ups in three different conditions that were pre-determined: fast speed (7 push-ups/10 s), regular speed (5 push-ups/10 s), and slow speed (4 push-ups/10 s). The kinematics and kinetics data were obtained from the Expert Vision motion system. The joint angles, resultant forces and moments of the elbow at different push-up speeds were calculated by laboratory-developed software. The peak elbow medial shear force and compression force in the fast group were 1.35 and 1.23 times greater than those in the slower group, respectively. In addition, the peak valgus moment, extension moment, and pronation moment at fast push-up speed were 1.63, 1.34 and 1.41 times greater than at slow speed, respectively. Additionally, performing the push-up more slowly could significantly increase the muscle activations in triceps brachii, biceps brachii, and posterior deltoid muscle groups, and thus be of greater benefit in muscle training. Therefore performing the push-up exercise more slowly may be a better strategy for strengthening the upper extremity muscles.
Article
The bench press is one of the most popular weight training open-kinetic chain exercise (OKCE) for the upper extremity. Reviewing the literature, there is a very little research regarding the biomechanical analysis of the OKCE of the upper extremity. The purpose of this study is to develop an OKCE testing model of the upper extremity by using the 3D Motion Analysis System. Furthermore, elbow joint loading of two different hand grip position during the bench-press exercise will be investigated. Thirteen male students volunteered for the study. Their average age was 26.1 years, with an average height of 170.6 cm, and an average weight of 70.3 kg. With both hands in neutral position, each subject was asked to perform bench-press type 1 (normal shoulder width), and bench-press type 2 (150% shoulder width). During the type 2 bench-press exercise, there is a significant increase in anterior–posterior and medial–lateral force on the elbow joint loading than the type 1 bench-press exercise. The valgus–varus, flexion–extension moment, and supination–pronation moment of the type 2 bench-press exercise are also greater than the type 1 bench-press exercise. As shown in this study, keeping the distance of both hand grips as shoulder width may reduce the elbow joint loading during bench-press exercise. These data will provide helpful information in clinical rehabilitation and treatment of the upper-extremity injures.
Article
Intersegmental loading pattern on the elbow joint during a push-up exercise was investigated. Electromagnetic motion sensors and a piezoelectric force plate were used to simultaneously record upper extremity motion and forces on nine healthy male subjects during push-ups in six different hand positions. Peak axial forces exerted on the elbow joint averaged 45 percent of the body weight. Peak torque to produce elbow flexion was 2305.9 N-cm, or 56 percent of maximal isometric extensor torque. The results of this analysis give insight to the biomechanics of a normal elbow and to its load carrying capacity.
Article
The purpose of this study was to experimentally measure and analytically determine the load across the wrist, elbow, and shoulder joints during push-ups to better understand the nature of this exercise. A piezoelectric force platform was used to measure the vertical and two shear forces as well as the moment and the location of the center of pressure on the hand during a push-up. The electromagnetic tracking system was utilized to associate the force and moment measurement on the hand to the joints of the upper limbs. Factors which affect the intersegmental loads on the joints during push-ups include the location of the palm relative to the shoulder joint, the plane of arm movement, and the relative foot positions. In addition, the speed of push-ups also affects the amount of inertial load on top of the base static load.
Article
Elbow joint loading was evaluated during pushup exercises at various forearm rotations. Subjects were asked to perform pushup in various forearm rotations: neutral, 90 degrees internal rotation, and 90 degrees external rotation. Training with pushup exercise is good for the muscles and joints of the upper extremities. However, excessive shear forces on the elbow might lead to injuries to either normal trainees or to handicapped people, especially for those who rely on elbow prosthesis. The kinematics and kinetics of the elbow joint were investigated under various forearm rotations. The loading biomechanics of the elbow joint differed with various forearm rotations. It was noted that greater posterior and varus forces of the elbow are encountered with internal rotation of the hand position and, consequently, full forearm pronation. Pushup with hands in internally rotated position should be prevented so as to avoid excessive shear forces or moments. Knowledge of elbow kinematics and kinetics may be helpful in preventing injuries by reducing the elbow shear force with changes of forearm rotation.
Article
This is the first study of the one-handed pushup, and tries to show the effects of forearm rotations. Previous studies of elbow loading have focused on passive loading and small loads, because data from large loads during active exercise is not easy to obtain. In order to investigate the biomechanical impact of hand position on the elbow and the potential trauma mechanisms of outstretched elbow, joint loading across the elbow was analyzed for three forearm rotational positions, neutral, 90 degrees internal rotation and 90 degrees external rotation. Both kinematic and kinetic data were collected from eight volunteers by the Motion Analysis System and a Kistler Force Plate. Statistical analysis of the data delineates the relationship between elbow joint load and hand rotational position during one-handed pushup, and also provides useful biomechanical information for this challenging exercise. The axial and valgus stresses and forces are the major concerns. The peak axial forces exerted on the elbow joint averaged 65 % of the body weight when the hand position was neutral, and was significantly reduced with the hand rotated either internally or externally. The peak valgus shear force with the hand externally rotated was 50 % greater than the other two positions. Thus, outward rotation of the hand is a stressful position that should be avoided during one-handed pushup exercise or forward falls with outstretched hands in order to reduce the risk of elbow injuries.
Article
The purpose of the study was to record dynamic and muscular modifications during push-up exercise variants (EV). Eight healthy men performed 6 EV of push-ups: normal, abducted, adducted, posterior, anterior, and on knees. Ground-reaction forces were recorded with a force plate while surface muscular activity with electrodes on triceps and pectoralis major. Significant differences (p < 0.05) existed for most vertical force variables but not for anteroposterior force and time variables. The initial load relative to body weight was 66.4% at the normal position, while only 52.9% at the on-knees EV. Muscle activity was less during the on-knees EV for both muscles. At the posterior EV, pectoralis major was activated higher than normal; however, triceps were activated lower than normal. Dynamic behavior and muscle activity were significantly altered between push-up EV. Instructions for push-up exercises should be followed carefully because dynamic and muscular challenge is altered when hands are differently positioned.
Article
Popular fitness literature suggests that varied hand placements during push-ups may isolate different muscles. Scientific literature, however, offers scant evidence that varied hand placements elicit different muscle responses. This study examined whether different levels of electromyographic (EMG) activity in the pectoralis major and triceps brachii muscles are required to perform push-ups from each of 3 different hand positions: shoulder width base, wide base, and narrow base hand placements. Forty subjects, 11 men and 29 women, performed 1 repetition of each push-up. The EMG activity for subjects' dominant arm pectoralis major and triceps brachii was recorded using surface electrodes. The EMG activity was greater in both muscle groups during push-ups performed from the narrow base hand position compared with the wide base position (p < 0.05). This study suggests that, if a goal is to induce greater muscle activation during exercise, then push-ups should be performed with hands in a narrow base position compared with a wide base position.
The Balance System: Clinical Desk Reference
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  • Inc
Chattanooga Group, Inc., The Balance System: Clinical Desk Reference, Chattanooga, TN: Chattecx Corporation, 1992.
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D. G. E. Robertson (Ed.), Research Methods in Biomechanics, Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2004.