To efficiently develop muscle mass and strength while bench pressing muscular activation is essential. Authors at the European Journal of Sport Science sought out to discover the effects of muscle activation during bench pressing at various degrees. The degrees being, 0, 30, 45, and -15. If greater or lesser angles can enhance muscle activation, then those result will enable lifters to plan successful exercise programs.
What they found was that at a bench incline of 30 or 45 degrees the result was increased muscle activation, this provided insight into effective adaptations in the benches angle to optimize strength and tone. The concluded that “the present investigation demonstrate(s) the importance of considering the effects of muscle activation throughout different time points of the contraction/lift as variations may be evident…in an effort to optimize a resistance-training program with the goal of improving muscle strength and development of the pectoralis major, it would be beneficial to include horizontal bench press and an incline bench of 30 degrees.”
The study consisted of 14 resistance trained participants who undertook 2 training sessions. The first session they were asked to complete a one rep max. For the second session they were fitted with electrodes to assess the activation within muscles. They completes 6 reps for each of the four angles at a resistance of 65% of their one rep max. Effects of the angle of the bench were noted and the duration of muscle contraction and the contraction phase of the upper and lower pectoralis major, anterior deltoid, and lateral triceps brachii were observed.
If you have any questions regarding upper body muscle activation or are experiencing upper body pain, contact Lavanga Chiropractic today!