EFFECTS OF THE BENCH SHIRT ON SELECTED BENCH PRESS MECHANICS
Keywords: power lifting, bench press, bar velocity, bar path. bench shirt
AbstractPower lifting is an individual sport enjoyed by participants in over 78 countries. Participants compete in three separate lifts and the Iifter with the highest total is the winner. However. this study is concerned purely with the bench press. The "bench shirt" is a cotton/polyester. single-ply form-fitting shirt that is used by lifters to enhance performance during the bench press. Power lifters use these shirts in an attempt to Increase the load lifted in competition. However, it Is possible that these shirts, due to their extreme form fit to the body, could alter the natural motion of the bench press exercise. Researchers have investigated the mechanics of the bench press. and identified proper technique (Judge, 1998; Madsen & McLaughlin, 1984). Proper mechanics dictate that for any experienced lifter there exists a consistent order of bar velocity (increasing velocity off of the chest, decreasing velocity throug the "sticking region," increasing velocity after the sticking region. final decreasing velocity at the finish) (Madsen & McLaughlin, 1984). The bar path should be as indicated in Figure 1. However, no published studies have demonstrated the effect the bench shirt on bench press lifting technique. Therefore. the purpose of this study was to determine the changes in bar path and bar velocity when performing the bench press shirted versus raw (no bench shirt).
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