Activation of Selected Core Muscles during Pressing

Thomas W. Nesser, Neil Fleming, Matthew J. Gage


Introduction: Unstable surface training is often used to activate core musculature during resistance training. Unfortunately, unstable surface training is risky and leads to detraining. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine core muscle activation during stable surface ground-based lifts. Methods: Fourteen recreational trained and former NCAA DI athletes (weight 84.2 ± 13.3 kg; height 176.0 ± 9.5 cm; age 20.9 ± 2.0 years) volunteered for participation. Subjects completed two ground-based lifts: overhead press and push-press. Surface EMG was recorded from 4 muscles on the right side of the body (Rectus Abdominus (RA), External Oblique (EO), Transverse Abdominus (TA), and Erector Spinae (ES). Results: Paired sample T-tests identified significant muscle activation differences between the overhead press and the push-press included ES and EO. Average and peak EMG for ES was significantly greater in push-press (P<0.01). Anterior displacement of COP was significantly greater in push-press compared to overhead press during the eccentric phase. Conclusion: The push-press was identified as superior in core muscle activation when compared to the overhead pressing exercise.

Keywords: torso, stability, weight lifting, resistance training

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