Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine ( 2014 ) 13 , 502 - 510

Research article
Muscle Activation during Push-Ups with Different Suspension Training Systems
Joaquin Calatayud1, Sebastien Borreani1, Juan C. Colado1, Fernando F Martín1, Michael E. Rogers2, , David G. Behm3, Lars L. Andersen4
Author Information
1 Research Group in Sport and Health, Laboratory of Physical Activity and Health, Department of Physical Education and Sports, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain
2 Department of Human Performance Studies, Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas, USA
3 School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada
4 National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Copenhagen, Denmark

Michael E. Rogers
✉ Department of Human Performance Studies, Wichita State University, Wichita, Kansas, USA
Email: michael.rogers@wichita.edu
Publish Date
Received: 28-02-2014
Accepted: 22-03-2014
Published (online): 01-09-2014
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ABSTRACT

The purpose of this study was to analyze upper extremity and core muscle activation when performing push-ups with different suspension devices. Young fit male university students (n = 29) performed 3 push-ups each with 4 different suspension systems. Push-up speed was controlled using a metronome and testing order was randomized. Average amplitude of the electromyographic root mean square of Triceps Brachii, Upper Trapezius, Anterior Deltoid, Clavicular Pectoralis, Rectus Abdominis, Rectus Femoris, and Lumbar Erector Spinae was recorded. Electromyographic signals were normalized to the maximum voluntary isometric contraction (MVIC). Electromyographic data were analyzed with repeated-measures analysis of variance with a Bonferroni post hoc. Based upon global arithmetic mean of all muscles analyzed, the suspended push-up with a pulley system provided the greatest activity (37.76% of MVIC; p < 0.001). Individually, the suspended push-up with a pulley system also provided the greatest triceps brachii, upper trapezius, rectus femoris and erector lumbar spinae muscle activation. In contrast, more stable conditions seem more appropriate for pectoralis major and anterior deltoid muscles. Independent of the type of design, all suspension systems were especially effective training tools for reaching high levels of rectus abdominis activation.

Key words: EMG, unstable, core, trunk, exercise


           Key Points
  • Compared with standard push-ups on the floor, suspended push-ups increase core muscle activation.
  • A one-anchor system with a pulley is the best option to increase TRICEP, TRAPS, LUMB and FEM muscle activity.
  • More stable conditions such as the standard push-up or a parallel band system provide greater increases in DELT and PEC muscle activation.
  • A suspended push-up is an effective method to achieve high muscle activity levels in the ABS.
 
 
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