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Comparison among the EMG Activity of the Anterior Deltoid and Medial Deltoid During Two Variations of Dumbbell Shoulder Press Exercise


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Objective: To analyze the muscle activation of anterior and medial deltoid muscles while performing two different grip variations of dumbbell shoulder press. Methodology: Ten healthy male participants (age = 20.9 ± 1.449 years, height = 1.71 ± .038 m, weight=69.65 ± 2.92 kg) from Lakshmi Bai National Institute of Physical Education (Gwalior, M.P, India) were recruited as a sample of the study. The participants performed 5 repetitions of two different grip variations of dumbbell shoulder press. The exercises were Arnold Dumbbell Press (ADP) and Overhead Dumbbell Press (ODP). Surface Electromyography (SEMG) was used to record the muscle activation and for measuring muscle electrical activity that occurs during muscle contraction. Results: Paired t–test was used to detect mean differences between the two variations of dumbbell shoulder press. It was found that Anterior and Medial Deltoid muscles were more active while performing ADP (AD-1346.4292.495; MD – 827.5 146.426) as compared to ODP (AD - 1043.4 141.299; MD – 725.4 100.4). Also while performing both the exercises, the muscle activation of anterior deltoid was found to be much higher than Medial Deltoid. Conclusions: Arnold dumbbell press was more effective exercise for the activation of Anterior and Medial deltoid muscles as compared to the Overhead Dumbbell Press. Anterior deltoid acts as primary muscle while performing both the exercises, as the muscle activation is much higher as compared to medial deltoid. © 2017, Indian Journal of Public Health Research and Development. All rights reserved.
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Comparison among the EMG Activity of the Anterior Deltoid
and Medial Deltoid During Two Variations of Dumbbell
Shoulder Press Exercise
Shiny Raizada1, Amritashish Bagchi2
1Assistant Professor, Department of Physical Education, Santa Cruz East, Mumbai, India;
2Assistant Professor, Symbiosis School of Sports Sciences,
Symbiosis International University, Lavale, Pune, India
Objective: To analyze the muscle activation of anterior and medial deltoid muscles while performing two
Methodology:Tenhealthymaleparticipants (age=20.9± 1.449years,height= 1.71 ±.038m,weight
(ODP).SurfaceElectromyography(SEMG) wasusedto recordthemuscleactivation andformeasuring
muscle electrical activity that occurs during muscle contraction.
higher than Medial Deltoid.
Keywords: Anterior Deltoid, Dumbbell shoulder press, Electromyography, Medial Deltoid and Muscle
The shoulders are used in many daily life activities
and it’s a key to many full-bodied movements. The
shoulder muscles always come into play while throwing,
pushing, pulling or lifting1.
Deltoids are the most important muscles of the
shoulders to produce shoulder joint movements.
Anatomically deltoids are divided into three dierent
portions: anterior, medial and posterior. For developing
deltoids plays dominant role in lifting the arms forward,
similarly the middle deltoids lift the arms sideways and
Symmetrical development of each portion of the deltoids
protection against shoulder injury, and a powerful upper
of well-developed deltoid2.
exercises for the shoulders. While doing vertical press,
it allows the Gleno-humeral joint to follow a natural
path, which is well suited to the anatomy of the shoulder.
As compare to dumbbell press, in barbell Press the
shoulderandthe placementofthe bar3.Thedumbbell
DOI Number: 10.5958/0976-5506.2017.00411.9
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654 Indian Journal of Public Health Research & Development, October-December 2017, Vol.8, No. 4
shoulder press is also more eective for producing
shoulder muscles hypertrophy. Dumbbells allow more
freedom as compare to barbells but it also requires
coordination. As compare to barbell, during the last
phaseof thepress, dumbbellsallow thearms tocome
closer that result in greater range of motion4. A twisting
press. During this press, the range of motion increases at
thestartingpositionof thedumbbells,withoutaltering
the target muscles. The target muscles for both i.e.
overhead shoulder press and the Arnold press are the
front and side shoulder muscles5. Choosing the best
exercise for developing the shoulder becomes really
dicult due to the dierent portions of the shoulder
muscles.Oneway to determinethisisbycheckingthe
level of muscle activation associated with a particular
Electromyography measures the electrical activity
of the muscles tissues during muscle contraction and
relaxation cycles. Apart from rehabilitation it is also
used in many sports techniques and is an essential
tool in physiological, biomechanical and biomedical
assessments for performance enhancement in sports6,7,8,9.
The purpose of the study was to analyze the muscle
activity of anterior and medial deltoid during two
Subjects:Tenhealthy maleparticipants (age= 20.9±
1.449years, height =1.71 ±.038 m,weight =69.65±
Education (Gwalior, M.P, India) were recruited as a
sample to be included in the study. More specically,
each subject met our stringent requirement of at least
a week) weight training programs. Simple Random
Sampling technique was used for the selection of the
subjects. All subjects were free from injuries which
to participation in any testing procedures.
Experimental Approach to the Problem: To compare
beforetesting for knowing 10 RM of thesubjects. At
liftapproximatelythreetove sets ofeachexerciseat
increasing loads until they reach their maximum load for
10 repetitions. They were allowed to rest for 5 minutes
between the sets, or until they felt suciently rested,
was used for measuring muscle electrical activity that
occurs during muscle contraction and relaxation cycles.
The SEMG signal generated by the muscle bers is
capturedby the electrodes, thenamplied and ltered
bythe encoder.It isthen sent (by optical ber) to the
computer to be processed, displayed and recorded by
theInnitisoftware.TheMyoScan-Pro sensor’sactive
range is from 20 to 500 Hz. It can record SEMG signals
of up to 1600 microvolts (μV), RMS. A/D Converter
(Encoder;ProCompInniti)has 2channels(C and D)
Data collection:Biographinnityversion5.0wasusedto
record muscle activation of Anterior and Medial Deltoid.
Before placing the electrodes on the target muscles, an
abrasivecreamwasappliedtothe electrodes.Thenthe
on two locations (i.e. channel C for Anterior Deltoid
and channel D for Medial Deltoid). A 15 foot optic
encoder. A 20 mega pixels extended video camera was
selected muscles at the time of performing the exercises.
Myoscan-pro sensor with triode electrode was used.
Theparticipantsperformed 5 repetitions(of10RM) of
eachvariationof dumbbellshoulderpress one byone.
in the Arnold dumbbell press and overhead dumbbell
press,the amountof weightfor theboth theexercises
waskept same. Sucient recovery timewas provided
to the participants after completing each exercise. The
Statistics: For testing the assumption of normality and
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Indian Journal of Public Health Research & Development, October-December 2017, Vol.8, No. 4 655
such as mean, standard deviation, skewness, kurtosis,
normalprobability plots andShapiro–Wilk’stestwere
used. All data are presented as mean with standard
deviations. Paired t – test was used to detect mean
dierences between the two variations of dumbbell
shoulder press. For this purpose Statistical Package for
Adeviationfrom symmetry can be indicated,if a
skewness value is more than twice its standard error. As
its standard error of kurtosis hence none of the kurtosis
Further for testing the normality Shapiro–Wilks
test was used. It compares the scores in the sample to
andstandard deviation. If the test is non– signicant
isprobablynormal)and vice–versa.Herefromtable-1
Table 1: Descriptive Statistics and Test of Normality
Exercise Arnold Dumbbell Press Vertical Dumbbell Press
Muscles Anterior
Mean 1346.40 827.50 1043.40 725.40
Std. Error
of Mean 92.495 46.304 44.682 31.751
Deviation 292.495 146.426 141.299 100.407
Skewness .597 -.581 .223 .194
Error of
.687 .687 .687 .687
Kurtosis -.884 -1.295 -1.932 -.636
Std. Error
of Kurtosis 1.334 1.334 1.334 1.334
– Wilk
.402 .103 .086 .872
Figure 1: Mean and S.D value of muscles activation
(Anterior Deltoid and Medial Deltoid) in Two
Variations of Dumbbell Shoulder Press.
theexerciseswere notsimilar.ArnoldDumbbell Press
shows greater muscle activation in both Anterior and
Medial Deltoid as compared to Overhead Dumbbell
Press.Tosee whether these dierencesare signicant
Table 2: A summary of the paired t - test
Muscles Pair Paired Dierences t Sig. (2-tailed)
Mean Std. Deviation Std. Error Mean
AD ADP-ODP 303 296.5854 93.78853 3.231 0.01
MD ADP-ODP 102.1 105.5256 33.37013 3.06 0.014
ADP AD - MD 518.90 276.98795 87.59128 5.924 .000
ODP AD - MD 318.00 197.72427 62.52591 5.086 .001
*Signicantat0.05level Degreeoffreedom=9
Arnolddumbbellpress found tobebetter exercise
shows higher muscles activation in both the muscles
i.e. anterior and medial deltoid. In case of pairwise
comparison between Anterior and Medial Deltoid
deltoid muscle. This indicates that while performing
higher as compared to medial deltoid.
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656 Indian Journal of Public Health Research & Development, October-December 2017, Vol.8, No. 4
In the initial position of Arnold dumbbell press
the elbows drop in front of the body, activates the
anterior deltoid muscles to a great extent as compared
to overhead dumbbell press. And as the dumbbell
the movements10.Duetodierentmovementpatternsor
producingshouldermuscle(ADand MD)hypertrophy
The purpose of the study was to analyze the muscle
activity of anterior and medial deltoid during two
togreaterrange ofmotionArnolddumbbellpress was
Medial deltoid muscles as compared to the Overhead
higher than the medial deltoid, which means both the
exercises are more eective for developing anterior
deltoid than medial deltoid.
Ethical clearance: No need
Source of funding: Self
Conict of Interest: Nil
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... Yet, the prescription of the dip in these various performance and rehabilitation programs is based on the practitioner's experience rather than empirical evidence. While other upper-body push exercises, that may have similar neuromechanical profiles, have previously been investigated, including the push-up [11][12][13], bench press [14], and shoulder press [15][16][17], such research has not been conducted on dip variations, and so the neuromechanical profile of these exercises remains unknown. The dip is often prescribed in a wide range of exercise contexts, from increasing sports performance in experienced athletes [1][2][3], to athletes rehabilitating from shoulder instability [4] or other upper extremity injuries [5,6]. ...
... Yet, the prescription of the dip in these various performance and rehabilitation programs is based on the practitioner's experience rather than empirical evidence. While other upper-body push exercises, that may have similar neuromechanical profiles, have previously been investigated, including the push-up [11][12][13], bench press [14], and shoulder press [15][16][17], such research has not been conducted In addition to the lack of evidence justifying the dips use in exercise programs, the dip has also been criticised as a potentially high-risk exercise for injury to the shoulder [2,7,18]. A potential mechanism of injury has been suggested by McKenzie, Crowley-McHattan [18] relating to injury of anterior shoulder and PM. ...
Full-text available
The purpose of this study was to profile and compare the kinematics, using 3D motion capture, and muscle activation patterns, using surface electromyography (sEMG), of three common dip variations; the bench, bar, and ring dips. Thirteen experienced males performed four repetitions of each dip variation. For each participant, repetitions 2–4 were time-normalized and then averaged to produce a mean value for all kinematic and sEMG variables. The mean maximal joint angles and mean peak sEMG amplitudes were compared between each variation using a one-way ANOVA with repeated measures. Several significant differences (p < 0.05) between dip variations were observed in both kinematic and sEMG data. The bench dip predominantly targets the triceps brachii but requires greater shoulder extension range. The mean peak triceps brachii activation was 0.83 ± 0.34 mV on the bench, 1.04 ± 0.27 mV on the bar, and 1.05 ± 0.40 mV on the ring. The bar dip is an appropriate progression from the bench dip due to the higher peak muscle activations. The ring dip had similar peak activations to the bar dip, with three muscles increasing their activation intensities further. These findings have implications for practitioners prescribing the dip, particularly to exercisers with a history of shoulder pain and injury.
... The results of the present study showed that different deltoid exercises demonstrated different activation levels for each heads of the deltoid muscle. This finding is consistent with the results of previous studies that reported each head of the deltoid is activated differently per specific exercise (Botton et al., 2013;Coratella et al., 2020;Raizada & Bagchi, 2017). In particular, Coratella et al. (2020) reported similar results with the present study. ...
Full-text available
This study aimed to compare the effects of handgrip and range of motion (ROM) variations on muscle activity in different deltoid exercises. 14 resistance-trained men volunteered for 1RM and EMG testing with a load corresponding to 80% of 1RM. The subjects performed three different handgrips during Dumbell Front Raise (DFR), two different ROM variations for Dumbell Lateral Raise (DLR), and two different handgrips during Dumbell Rear Delt Raise (DRDR). Electromyogram (EMG) activity was measured in the anterior, medial, and posterior heads of deltoids. For the DFR exercise, the highest mean EMG activity was greater for the anterior deltoid, and the highest activity was observed in pronate grip (PG) con (51.57%). For the anterior deltoid EMG activity was significantly greater in PG con (51.57%) compared with hammer grip (HG) con (43.36%) (p˂0.05). HG ecc activity (40.36%) was significantly greater than PG ecc (36.4%) in posterior deltoid (p˂0.05). For the DLR exercise, the highest activity was observed in medial deltoid, and for limited ROM (LTR) (20.74%). LTR con activity (19.37%) was significantly greater than full ROM con (FLR) (16.88%) in the anterior head (p˂0.05). For the DRDR exercise, the mean activity was greater in medial deltoid, and HG con showed the highest activity (24.47%). The mean electromyography activity for the posterior deltoid was significantly greater in standard grip (STD) ecc compared with HG ecc (17.3%) (p˂0.05). In conclusion, for the heads of the deltoid muscle, the use of the different handgrip and ROM variations may increase neuromuscular activity.
... Such positioning is frequently performed by obstetrics and gynecology technicians to move the ultrasound device to the patient's feet for vaginal ultrasonography. Deltoid and trapezius muscles are the essential muscles for shoulder movement and load (Jensen et al., 1993;Raizada and Bagchi, 2017). FDS and ED muscles are involved in gripping and exerting force. ...
This study aims to quantify the stresses of sonographers using two different ultrasound devices, one of conventional and one of ergonomic design. A total of 20 obstetricians and gynecologists participated in this study, and two types of tasks (scanning and positioning) were evaluated while using the two different devices. To quantify workload, four dependent variables (muscle activity, estimated grip force, subjective comfort rating, and task time) were measured. The muscular activity required while using the conventional device was 14.4% MVC (Maximum voluntary contraction) for the scanning task, which was significantly higher than that of the ergonomic device. The subjective comfort rating for the conventional design was lower than that of the ergonomic design. For the positioning task, the ergonomic device (33.2% MVC) resulted in significantly higher muscle activity in the extensor digitorum (ED) and flexor digitorum superficialis (FDS) than the conventional design (22.2% MVC), whereas the deltoid muscle showed significantly lower activity than in users of conventional design (4.5% MVC). Ergonomically-designed ultrasound devices improve ease of moving and the probe's supporters, reduce physical load and increase ease of use for sonographers. Our results may be used as guidelines for usability testing of ultrasound devices.
... The different physiological responses depend upon the shapes and densities of muscles. In this very respect, the electromyographic measurements gain great importance [1,2] . ...
Full-text available
Accurate prediction of electromyographic (EMG) signals associated with a variety of motor behaviors could, in theory, serve as activity templates needed to evoke movements in paralyzed individuals using functional electrical stimulation. Such predictions should encompass complex multi-joint movements and include interactions with objects in the environment. Here we tested the ability of different artificial neural networks (ANNs) to predict EMG activities of 12 arm muscles while human subjects made free movements of the arm or grasped and moved objects of different weights and dimensions. Inputs to the trained ANNs included hand position, hand orientation, and thumb grip force. The ability of ANNs to predict EMG was equally as good for tasks involving interactions with external loads as for unloaded movements. The ANN that yielded the best predictions was a feed-forward network consisting of a single hidden layer of 30 neural elements. For this network, the average coefficient of determination (R2 value) between predicted and actual EMG signals across all nine subjects and 12 muscles during movements that involved episodes of moving objects was 0.43. This reasonable accuracy suggests that ANNs could be used to provide an initial estimate of the complex patterns of muscle stimulation needed to produce a wide array of movements, including those involving object interaction, in paralyzed individuals.
Little is known about the effect of performing upper-body resistance exercises with dumbbells versus barbells and standing versus seated. Therefore, this study sought to compare electromyogram activity (EMG) and one-repetition maximum (1-RM) in barbell and dumbbell shoulder presses performed seated and standing. 15 healthy men volunteered for 1-RM and EMG testing with a load corresponding to 80% of the 1-RM. EMG was measured in the anterior, medial and posterior deltoids, and biceps and triceps brachii. The following EMG differences or trends were observed: For deltoid anterior: ∼11% lower for seated barbell versus dumbbell (P=0.038), ∼15% lower in standing barbell versus dumbbell (P<0.001), ∼8% lower for seated versus standing dumbbells (P=0.070); For medial deltoid, ∼7% lower for standing barbell versus dumbbells (P=0.050), ∼7% lower for seated versus standing barbell (P=0.062), 15% lower for seated versus standing dumbbell (P=0.008); For posterior deltoid: ∼25% lower for seated versus standing barbell (P<0.001), ∼24% lower for seated versus standing dumbbells (P=0.002); For biceps, ∼33% greater for seated barbell versus dumbbells (P=0.002), 16% greater for standing barbell versus dumbbell (P=0.074), ∼23% lower for seated versus standing dumbbells (P<0.001); For triceps, ∼39% greater for standing barbell versus dumbbells (P<0.001), ∼20% lower for seated versus standing barbell (P=0.094). 1-RM strength for standing dumbbells was ∼7% lower than standing barbell (P=0.002) and ∼10% lower than seated dumbbells (P<0.001). In conclusion, the exercise with the greatest stability requirement (standing and dumbbells) demonstrated the highest neuromuscular activity of the deltoid muscles, although this was the exercise with the lowest 1-RM strength.
Dumbbell Vertical Press
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Rutherford, M. (2007).Dumbbell Vertical Press. Crossfit Journal, (53), 1. Retrieved from http://
What Part of the Deltoid Does the Arnold Press Work On?
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Johnson, J. (2016). What Part of the Deltoid Does the Arnold Press Work On?Healthyliving. Retrieved 19 May 2016, from
Arnoil press vs. Overhead Dumbbell Press. Muscle and performance
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Pena, J. (2012). Arnoil press vs. Overhead Dumbbell Press. Muscle and performance. com. Retrieves 2 June 2016, from http://www.