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Journal of Sports Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 612650, 6 pages
Research Article

Shoulder Muscle Activation of Novice and Resistance Trained Women during Variations of Dumbbell Press Exercises

Biodynamics and Human Performance Center, Armstrong Atlantic State University, 11935 Abercorn Street, Savannah, GA 31419, USA

Received 1 December 2012; Revised 12 April 2013; Accepted 19 April 2013

Academic Editor: Mark Willems

Copyright © 2013 Joshua Luczak et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Previous research has compared the effects of trunk inclination angle on muscle activation using barbells and Smith machines in men. Whether similar effects occur with the use of dumbbells or in women remains unknown. The purpose was to compare upper extremity surface electromyographical (EMG) activity between dumbbell bench, incline, and shoulder presses. Dominate arm EMG data were recorded for collegiate-aged female resistance trained individuals ( ) and novice female resistance trained exercisers ( ) from which average EMG amplitude for each repetition phase (concentric, eccentric) was computed. No significant differences were found between experienced and novice resistance trained individuals. For the upper trapezius and anterior deltoid muscles, shoulder press activation was significantly greater than incline press which in turn was significantly greater than bench press across both phases. The bench and incline presses promoted significantly greater pectoralis major sternal activation compared to the shoulder press (both phases). While pectoralis major clavicular activation during the incline press eccentric phase was significantly greater than both the bench and shoulder presses, activation during the bench press concentric phase promoted significantly greater activation than the incline press which in turn was significantly greater than the shoulder press. These results provide evidence for selecting exercises in resistance and rehabilitation programs.