Resistance Training Acute Session: Pectoralis Major, Latissimus Dorsi and Triceps Brachii Electromyographic Activity

By Borges, Eduardo; Mezêncio, Bruno et al. | Journal of Physical Education and Sport, June 2018 | Go to article overview

Resistance Training Acute Session: Pectoralis Major, Latissimus Dorsi and Triceps Brachii Electromyographic Activity


Borges, Eduardo, Mezêncio, Bruno, Pinho, João, Soncin, Rafael, Barbosa, João, Araujo, Felipe, Gianolla, Fábio, Amadio, Carlos, Serrão, Júlio, Journal of Physical Education and Sport


Introduction

Knowing muscular activation in resistance training (RT) is of great interest when one wants select the best strategy to improve performance (Calatayud et al., 2014) or rehabilitate an athlete (Escamilla, Yamashiro, Paulos, & Andrews, 2009). Shoulder and / or elbow injuries are common in overhead sports such as tennis, volleyball, handball and baseball (Andersson, Bahr, Clarsen, & Myklebust, 2017). Rehabilitation programs usually use electromyographic studies to elect the suitable exercises to strengthen shoulder and elbow muscles (Escamilla et al., 2009). For instance, bench press (BP) and lat pull down (LPD) exercises are employed in advanced phases of rehabilitation protocols since they help balance shoulder rotator cuff muscles (Reinold, Gill, Wilk, & Andrews, 2010). On the other hand, RT exercises are used to increase strength and muscular hypertrophy (Communications & ACSM, 2009) in athletes and even recreational weightlifters to increase performance (Kobal et al., 2016).

Comparing electromyographic (EMG) activity between RT exercises is a common way to compare exercises' efficiency (Andersen, Fimland, Wiik, Skoglund, & Saeterbakken, 2014; Brennecke et al., 2009; Calatayud et al., 2014; Campos & Da Silva, 2014; Chris Barnett, 1995; Marchetti & Uchida, 2011; Schick et al., 2010; Soncin et al., 2014; Youdas et al., 2010). It was found that LPD produced higher latissimus dorsi (LD) activity followed by pectoralis major (PM) and long head of the triceps brachii (TBl) activity (Andersen et al., 2014; Signorile, Zink, & Szwed, 2002) and that bench press (BP) shows higher PM and TBl activity (Stastny et al., 2017). Triceps lying (TL), as expected, presents high TBl activity (Soncin et al., 2014). Pullover (PO) exercise, in turn, seems to present higher PM activity followed by LD (Marchetti & Uchida, 2011) and TBl (Campos & Da Silva, 2014). However, no research has yet focused on comparing PM, LD and TBl EMG activity between BP, LPD and PO performed with 10 repetition maximum (10-RM) - the intensity recommended for strength and muscular hypertrophy gains (Communications & ACSM, 2009).

It seems that solely two studies accessed PO exercise muscle activity. Different experimental designs and EMG normalization procedures restrains a comparison between them. Marchetti and Uchida (Marchetti & Uchida, 2011) used 30 % of body mass as the experimental condition while Campos and Da Silva (Campos & Da Silva, 2014) used 70 % of 1-RM. Similarly, the first normalized EMG data by a maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC) of PM and LD while the latter used PM, LD and TBl root mean square (RMS) peak to compare BP and PO exercises.

The biarticular nature of TBl, allowing the extension of the elbow and shoulder (Floyd, 1985), makes this muscle to be activated in BP (Stastny et al., 2017), PO (Campos & Da Silva, 2014) and in LPD (Signorile et al., 2002). It seems to be activated by 60 % of MVIC in LPD (Signorile et al., 2002), 59% in BP (Brennecke et al., 2009), 78 % in TL (Soncin et al., 2014) and in PO exercise its activity seems to be 62.5 % higher than in BP (125 цУ versus 200 цУ) (Campos & Da Silva, 2014). PM showed an activation of 77% of MVIC in BP (Brennecke et al., 2009), 65 % in LPD (Signorile et al., 2002) and 2500 % in PO (Marchetti & Uchida, 2011). The LD, in turn, seems to be activated by 110% of the MVIC in LPD (Signorile et al., 2002) and 250 % in pO (Marchetti & Uchida, 2011). This scenario does not allow to compare these muscles activation in a single strength training bout that makes use of BP, LPD and PO.

To the best of our knowledge, no study has yet investigated the muscle EMG activity in a single strength training bout aimed to increase strength and muscle hypertrophy. This gap in the literature may affect strength training response since the results might be unsatisfied or lead to overtraining. Therefore, our purpose was to compare LD, TBl and the external portion of the pectoralis major (PMe) EMG activation produced in PO, BP, LPD and TL. …

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