CAN MUSCLE ACTIVATION BE INCREASED WHEN MODIFYING THE DUMBBELL CHEST PRESS? AN ELECTROMYOGRAPHIC COMPARISON

  • W. Bray
  • J. Lake
  • K. Short
Keywords: unilateral, stability, bench press, core

Abstract

The development of core stability is an important part of the athlete strength and conditioning process. Research has shown that when traditional resistance exercise is performed on a stability ball, core muscle surface electromyography (sEMG) is increased (Anderson & Behm, 2005). However, investigators have also demonstrated this can lead to a considerable reduction in agonist muscle sEMG (Behm & Anderson, 2006). It has been suggested that by replacing traditional bilateral resistance exercises with unilateral variations the reduction in agonist muscle sEMG associated with stability ball resistance exercise can be avoided (Behm & Anderson, 2006). However, this theory has not been tested on the chest press. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare core and agonist sEMG during chest press performance to establish whether unilateral chest press exercise would increase core sEMG without compromising agonist sEMG.