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Bar Path and Force Profile Characteristics for Maximal and Submaximal Loads in the Bench Press

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Abstract

The bar movement characteristics of 10 elite powerlifters were analyzed while bench pressing a maximum load and a submaximal load in a simulated competition using high-speed cinematography. Significant differences in bar path and alterations to the general force profile of movement were evident as the load was increased. These movement discrepancies resulted in the following conclusions being drawn with reference to the bench press movement: (a) The movement pattern adopted during the performance of an 81 % maximum load was not specific to that which was utilized during the maximal load. (b) Based upon the concepts of specificity of training and testing, the use of the popular one-repetition maximum test to quantify strength changes derived from submaximal training appeared invalid. This occurrence is further accentuated when the testing protocol is conducted on a bench press machine. (c) The design of “isotonic” bench press machines appeared to be load specific. Further, the development of bench press machines that would allow a number of bar paths to be pursued appear to represent a significant improvement over existing models.
... The bar force prole has not been determined yet. For bench press, this has been done a few decades ago [1,2], but for deadlift and squat, only ground reaction force and velocity proles can be found [36], which is similar but not equivalent. Hence, besides physics education, this paper has a contribution to the eld of biomechanics, too (with limited accuracy). ...
... If the barbell moves back and forth compared to the lifter, it is necessary to examine both vertical y L -axis and horizontal z L -axis (labelling of axes will make more sense in section 4.2). Then, equation (2) for vertical axis becomes F y − mg = ma y (L) , and for z L axes we have F z = ma z (L) , where F y and F z are the components of force that the lifter applies to the barbell. ...
... This is signicant because maximal attempts shouldn't be performed too often (for professionals no more than once or twice per year), but they are important when making workout plans. This can be applied for a lifter who exhibits dierent force proles for sub-maximal (< 80 %) and maximal lifts, which has been reported for bench press [2] and conrmed in our measurements. ...
... On the other hand, Lander et al., [29] found that the point of failure in the bench press exercise occurs during the concentric phase and that the range of movement where it occurs does not vary much regardless of the intensity (75 or 90% of 1 RM). Moreover, Wilson et al., [30] confirmed that the concentric phase of the bench press is especially difficult due to mechanical disadvantage. Altogether, these studies, seem to indicate that training with full ROM may impair extremely high neuromuscular recruitment, which is usually warranted in powerlifting. ...
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Paralympic Powerlifting is a sport in which the strength of the upper limbs is assessed through bench press performance in an adapted specific bench. It is therefore essential to optimize training methods to maximize this performance. The aim of the present study was to compare force production and muscle activation involved in partial vs. full range of motion (ROM) training in Paralympic Powerlifting. Twelve male athletes of elite national level in Paralympic Powerlifting participated in the study (28.60 ± 7.60 years of age, 71.80 ± 17.90 kg of body mass). The athletes performed five sets of 5RM (repetition maximum), either with 90% of 1RM in full ROM or with a load of 130% 1RM in partial ROM. All subjects underwent both exercise conditions in consecutive weeks. Order assignment in the first week was random and counterbalanced. Fatigue index (FI), Maximum Isometric Force (MIF), Time to MIF (Time) and rate of force development (RFD) were determined by a force sensor. Muscle thickness was obtained using ultrasound images. All measures were taken pre- and post-training. Additionally, electromyographic signal (EMG) was evaluated in the last set of each exercise condition. Post-exercise fatigue was higher with full ROM as well as loss of MIF. Full ROM also induced greater. EMG showed greater activation of the Clavicular portion and Sternal portion of pectoralis major muscle and lower in the anterior portion of deltoid muscle when full ROM was performed. Muscle thickness of the pectoralis major muscle increased post-exercise. We concluded that training with partial ROM enables higher workloads with lower loss of muscle function.
... Follow-up studies are needed to verify these results. Down sets performed with basic strength training exercises such as back squats and deadlifts may be inherently limited as a power-training stimulus because of the deceleration of the barbell during a substantial portion of the concentric phase (14,17,43). By contrast, complete acceleration is produced through a full range-of-motion in ballistic exercises and weightlifting derivatives, resulting in significantly higher average velocity, peak velocity, average force, average power, and peak power compared with strengthoriented exercises (7,21,24,41). ...
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The purpose of this study was to determine if successive heavy sets of back squats can augment the concentric velocity of a lighter down set performed by strength-trained men. Twelve trained men with experience in the back squat volunteered to perform a 5 repetition maximum (5RM) along with 2 separate squat sessions consisting of 3 sets of 5 repetitions with 85% of their 5RM. One condition involved performing a “down set” (DS) after the 3 working sets at 85% of 5RM equivalent to 60% of the working-set load that was also performed during the warm-up. A “No down set” condition involved performing an additional warm-up set before the working sets with 60% of the working-set load instead of the down set to determine if velocity was augmented because of postactivation potentiation in the DS condition. In both conditions, 3 minutes of rest was applied between all sets. A paired sample t-test was used to compare the mean concentric velocities (MCVs) of the working sets of both conditions, and a repeated measures analysis of variance was used to assess differences in MCVs between sets performed at 60% of the working-set load. Cohen's d effect sizes were reported for all comparisons, and the critical alpha was set at p ≤ 0.05. No significant differences were observed in the working-set MCVs in both conditions (p = 0.412, d = 0.246) or between MCVs in the down set and equivalent warm-up set load in the DS condition (p = 0.270, d = 0.002).Although performing a down set may still be efficacious for developing power across a broad spectrum of loads, the results of this study suggest successive heavy sets of back squats do not acutely augment down set concentric velocity in strength-trained men.
... Most importantly, the adopted linear dependence results in typical smooth and curved barbell trajectories ( Figure 3) observed during real lifts. 3,29 The electromyographic (EMG) muscle activity recorded during the barbell bench press exercise constitutes the unique source of experimental data available for the validation of the model output. Unfortunately, the great majority of these EMG studies only report the mean and/or peak muscle activity recorded during the exercise. ...
Article
A three-dimensional biomechanical model has been developed to understand and quantify the effect of the triceps brachii force during bench press exercises executed with different external loads, grip widths, and positions of the barbell relative to the shoulders at the beginning of the lift. The upper limbs, chest, and barbell were modeled as a closed three-dimensional articulated system. The elbow extension torque [Formula: see text] developed by the triceps brachii is transferred through the links of the closed chain, yielding a shoulder transverse-flexion torque [Formula: see text], shoulder adduction torque [Formula: see text], and shoulder internal-rotation torque [Formula: see text] proportional to [Formula: see text]. The proportionality factors [Formula: see text], [Formula: see text], and [Formula: see text] are independent of the load and displayed a considerable change during the lift: [Formula: see text] increased from 0.5 to 2, while [Formula: see text] and [Formula: see text] decreased progressively to zero, with a value at the beginning of the lift between 0.5 and 1 depending on the starting barbell position and grip width. Overall, [Formula: see text] considerably decreased the demand for shoulder transverse-flexion and adduction muscle-torque, slightly increased the demand for shoulder abduction muscle-torque in the final phase of the lift, and induced a shoulder internal-rotation torque that should be equilibrated by an opposite torque developed by the shoulder external rotators. With the results of this study, sport practitioners can manage the variants and kinematics of the bench press exercise to modulate the effect of the triceps brachii force on the mechanical output during different phases of the lift and planes of movement.
... Esto sugiere que el error que arrojan los transductores lineales en los ejercicios realizados con pesos libres no sería significativo, al menos en sentadillas. Por otro lado el componente horizontal en el ejercicio de press de banca de competición con pesos libres se ha visto que se reduce junto con la disminución de la intensidad, siendo mayor con el 100% que con el 81% del peso levantado en el mejor intento (Wilson, Elliott & Kerr, 1989); en la presente investigación se ha utilizado una intensidad del 40% de 1 RM por lo que podemos suponer que el componente horizontal sería menor aún, aunque esto no se ha medido en este estudio. ...
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Este estudio buscó establecer la validez concurrente de los test de predicción de potencia muscular Palazzi y W5" en el ejercicio press de banca. Participaron 40 estudiantes de educación física de ambos sexos aparentemente sanos de 23,6 ± 2,7 años. Se aplicaron ambos test simultáneamente con un encoder. Se comparó la potencia estimada de los test de predicción con la potencia media concéntrica (PmC) y potencia media concéntrica/excéntrica (PmCE) obtenidas con el encoder. Para determinar su validez se calculó el coeficiente de determinación (R2) y coeficiente de correlación intraclase (CCI) y se realizó el gráfico Bland-Altman. Si bien se encontraron valores elevados de R2 en ambos test de predicción el análisis del CCI mostró un mayor acuerdo con el encoder en el test de Palazzi con respecto a W5" (PmC: 0,886 y 0,841; PmCE: 0,921 y 0,883 respectivamente). El gráfico Bland-Altman mostró que el acuerdo entre los test y el encoder disminuye en los valores más altos de potencia. Se concluye que ambos test poseen una validez concurrente aceptable como estimadores de potencia muscular en el ejercicio de press de banca aunque se recomienda utilizar preferentemente el test Palazzi y evitar su aplicación en sujetos de elevada potencia muscular.
... Indeed, bench press is an optimal training movement to increase the anterior trunk (pectoralis major and minor), arms (triceps brachii) and shoulders (anterior and medial deltoid) (Wilson et al. 1989;Barnett et al. 1995). An increasing interest to the use of the bench press exercise as a simple test for assessing upper limb strength is also observed in the scientific literature (Pearson et al. 2007;Padulo et al. 2012;Buitrago et al. 2013;Sreckovic et al. 2015;García-Ramos et al. 2016). ...
... A possible explanation for the reduced reliability observed during the BP could be attributed to differences in the bar path. Wilson et al. (21) previously observed that as intensity increases, the bar path deviates from that of lower intensity. Bar path variation could explain the observed reduction in reliability, although no meaningful difference was observed between BP velocity between trials 1 and 2 (p = 0.43). ...
Article
Miller, RM, Freitas, EDS, Heishman, AD, Koziol, KJ, Galletti, BAR, Kaur, J, and Bemben, MG. Test-retest reliability between free weight and machine-based movement velocities. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2018-Several devices are available to measure muscular power through velocity measurement, including the Tendo FitroDyne. The ability for such devices to produce consistent results is still questioned, and the reproducibility of measurement between free weight and machine exercise has yet to be examined. Therefore, the aim of this investigation was to determine the test-retest reliability for barbell velocity during the bench press (BP) and weight velocity during the 2 leg press (2LP) for loads corresponding to 20-80% of 1 repetition maximum (1RM). Forty recreationally active individuals (22.6 ± 2.5 years; 175.9 ± 10.8 cm; and 76.2 ± 13.2 kg) with a 1RM BP and 2LP of 66.8 ± 32.4 kg and 189.5 ± 49 kg, respectively, volunteered for this study. Subjects completed 1 familiarization visit preceding 3 testing visits, which encompassed 1RM determination and 2 days of velocity testing. Forty-eight hours after 1RM testing, the subjects performed 1 repetition at 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, and 80% of their 1RM for each exercise in randomized order. Subjects returned to the laboratory 1 week later to perform the velocity assessment again in randomized order. Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC2,1) and relative SEM for the BP and 2LP ranged from 0.56 to 0.98 (3-18.1%) and 0.78 to 0.98 (2.8-7.2%), respectively, and no mean differences were observed between trials. The results suggest high reliability for BP velocity between 30 and 60% 1RM and moderate reliability at 20, 70, and 80% 1RM, while the 2LP displayed high to excellent reliability from 20 to 80% 1RM. Cumulatively, machine-based exercise displayed greater reproducibility; however, additional machine exercises need to be examined to bolster this conclusion.
... The horizontal bench press (HBP) is a popular exercise used for developing upper body strength and power. Studies have investigated EMG activity of muscles involved in the HBP with regard to performance (11,23,25,28) and the effects of width of grip and trunk inclination (2,8,16,22,26). Others (14,15,17,21,24) have examined shoulder injury prevention for better performance of the bench press. ...
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The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of frontal plane glenohumeral joint abduction (GHJA), scapular mobility and lower-back orientation of the horizontal bench press (HBP) on electromyographic activity of the upper clavicular and lower sternocostal heads of the pectoralis major (UCPM and LSPM), anterior deltoid (AD) and lateral head of triceps brachii (TB). Fourteen male subjects, with at least two years weight-training experience, volunteered for this study and signed informed consent forms prior to testing. Filtered EMG signals were full-wave rectified, integrated, and time normalized (EMG activity/time taken for concentric phase of lift) and expressed as a percentage of maximum mean integrated EMG (%MmIEMG) for each muscle. Repeated-measures ANOVA recorded overall differences in %MmIEMG between six exercise positions for each muscle with α level of 0.05. No significant differences in EMG activity were found in frontal plane GHJA, scapular mobility or lower-back position for anisometric measurements of the UCPM and LSPM and the lateral head of triceps brachii. Significant difference in EMG activity of the anterior deltoid was found for change in frontal plane GHJA from 70° to 90° (P = 0.046) and from 50° to 90° (P = 0.027) (fatigue screen applied) (with the 70º and 50° GHJAs producing greater activity than the 90°). This significant change in muscle fiber recruitment of the anterior deltoid from the 70º to 90º GHJA, together with the results of no significant changes in %MmIEMG activity of the UCPM, LSPM and lateral head of triceps brachii can aid in outlining specific techniques that can be employed by powerlifters, bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts when performing the HBP. Keywords: bench press, surface electromyography, pectoralis major, fatigue index.
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