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J Strength Cond Res. 2005 Feb;19(1):146-51.

Dynamic and electromyographical analysis in variants of push-up exercise.

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Sport Biomechanics Laboratory, Department of Sport Medicine, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Science, University of Athens, Athens, Greece.


The purpose of the study was to record dynamic and muscular modifications during push-up exercise variants (EV). Eight healthy men performed 6 EV of push-ups: normal, abducted, adducted, posterior, anterior, and on knees. Ground-reaction forces were recorded with a force plate while surface muscular activity with electrodes on triceps and pectoralis major. Significant differences (p < 0.05) existed for most vertical force variables but not for anteroposterior force and time variables. The initial load relative to body weight was 66.4% at the normal position, while only 52.9% at the on-knees EV. Muscle activity was less during the on-knees EV for both muscles. At the posterior EV, pectoralis major was activated higher than normal; however, triceps were activated lower than normal. Dynamic behavior and muscle activity were significantly altered between push-up EV. Instructions for push-up exercises should be followed carefully because dynamic and muscular challenge is altered when hands are differently positioned.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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