Apr 112016

An interesting study on bench press angle and its effect on pec activation from SuppVersity.

The bench press, in one form or another, is part of almost everyone's workout, but what's the best way to do it?

The bench press, in one form or another, is part of almost everyone’s workout, but what’s the best way to do it?

You may have seen Brad Schoenfeld’s post about the just accepted study of his that confirms the well-known link between muscle activity and poundage (higher weight = higher activity | see EMG Series). Well, another recent study provides additional intricate insights into the link between muscle activity and the way you perform the bench press.

Just like Schoenfeld et al.’s study, the study compared the muscular activation during bench presses – albeit in this case that of the pectoralis major, anterior deltoid and triceps brachii during a freeweight barbell bench press performed at different angles: 0°, 30°, 45° & -15° angles, to be specific.

As the authors from the Department of Kinesiology, Cardiopulmonary and Metabolic Research Laboratory at the University of Toledo point out, this is not as “boring” as you may think it is,, as previous investigations may have systematically examined muscle activation during various bench press conditions only throughout the complete lift. Needless to say that “[d]uring any resistance exercise a complete ROM is important”, but Jakob D. Lauver et al. are right to point out that there may be potentially relevant differences in the level of muscle activation over the course of the full range of motion (ROM).

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