Muscle Stimulation Study Using EMG: Which Exercises Work?
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  1. #1
    Mecca V.I.P. bodybuilding reputation Fatality's Avatar
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    Muscle Stimulation Study Using EMG: Which Exercises Work?

    I'm not sure if this was posted already, but if it was I'm truely sorry.

    Electromyographical (EMG) Research is an essential research tool allowing physiologists to determine the role of muscles during specific movements. EMG is a scientific method of measuring the level of excitation. This is done by placing electrodes over your body and recording the level of muscle activity induced by an exercise. A study was conducted to find which exercises cause the greatest amount of activity within each muscle group and, as a consequence, determine which exercises will produce the greatest gains in mass and strength. This study was conducted by Tudor O. Bompa, PhD & Lorenzo J. Cornacchia. Both men and women were used in the study and all subjects had at least two years experience with resistance training.

    Here are the results of the best workout exercises study::
    (100% would signify maximum muscle fiber stimulation)

    Pectoralis Major (Chest)
    Decline dumbbell bench press ----------------93%
    Decline bench press, Olympic bar(OB)---------89
    Push-ups between benches --------------------88
    Flat dumbbell bench press -------------------87
    Flat bench press (OB) -----------------------85
    Flat dumbbell flyes --------------------------84

    Pectoralis Minor (Chest)
    Incline dumbbell bench press ----------------91%
    Incline bench press (OB) --------------------85
    Incline dumbbell flyes -----------------------83
    Incline bench press (smith machine) ---------81

    Medial Deltoids (Shoulder)
    Incline dumbbell (db) side laterals ----- 66%
    Standing db side laterals -------63
    Seated db side laterals -----62
    Cable side laterals -----47

    Posterior Deltoids
    Standing db bent laterals ----- 85%
    Seated db bent laterals -----83
    Standing cable bent laterals -----77

    Anterior Deltoids
    Seated front db press -----79%
    Standing front db raises -----73
    Seated front barbell press -----61

    Biceps brachii (long head)
    Preacher curls (Ob) -------------------- 90%
    Incline seated Db curls (alternate) ------ 88
    Standing biceps curls (Ob/narrow grip)--- 86
    Standing Db curls (alternate) ----------- 84
    Concentration Db curls ------------------ 80
    Standing curls (Ob/wide grip)------------ 63
    Sta
    ding E-Z curls (wide grip) ----------- 61

    Triceps brachii (outer head)
    Decline extensions (Ob) ------------------ 92%
    Triceps pressdowns (angled bar) ----------- 90
    Dips with a bench --------------------------87
    One-arm cable extensions (reverse grip) - 85
    Overhead rope extensions ------------------ 85
    Seated one-arm Db extensions (neutral grip)- 82
    Close-grip bench press (Ob) --------------- 72

    Latissimus dorsi (back)
    Bent-over Bb rows ---------------------------93%
    One-arm Db rows -----------------------------91
    T-bar rows ----------------------------------89
    Lat pulldowns to the front ------------------86
    Seated pulley rows --------------------------83

    Rectus femoris (quads)
    Safety squats (90 degree angle, shoulder width stance) ----88%
    seated leg extensions (toes straight) -------86
    Hack squats (90 degree angle, shoulder width stance) ----78
    Leg press (110 degree angle) ----------------76
    Smith machine (90 degree angle, shoulder width stance) ----60

    Biceps femoris (hamstring)
    Standing leg curls --------------------------82%
    Lying leg curls -----------------------------71
    Seated leg curls ----------------------------58
    Modified hamstring deads --------------------56

    Semitendinosus (inner hamstring)
    Seated leg curls ----------------------------88
    Standing leg curls --------------------------79
    Lying leg curls -----------------------------70
    Modified hamstring deads --------------------63

    Gastrocnemius (calf muscle)
    Donkey raises -------------------------------80
    Standing one-leg raises ---------------------79
    Standing two-leg raises ---------------------68
    Seated raises -------------------------------61

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  2. #2
    Mecca V.I.P. bodybuilding reputation Fatality's Avatar
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    Tim is probably not going to agree with some of this, but could you (Tim) verify some of the percentages so we can somewhat look back at this and work it into our routines?




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    Mecca V.I.P. bodybuilding reputation Arcane1129's Avatar
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    I believe this was posted before, and, if my memory serves me correctly, someone said that this study only measured peak performance and some exercises are misleading because of they have higher average stimulation throughout the exercise. So, think of it this way. One exercise recruits something like 90% at it's peak contraction, but maybe only 70% average for the entire movement- versus another exercise that is around 85% at the peak but 80% average.

    I'm just going from memory and may be wrong, so I'll wait for other responses.


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    True that true that.




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    Mecca V.I.P. bodybuilding reputation tim290280's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arcane1129 View Post
    I believe this was posted before, and, if my memory serves me correctly, someone said that this study only measured peak performance and some exercises are misleading because of they have higher average stimulation throughout the exercise. So, think of it this way. One exercise recruits something like 90% at it's peak contraction, but maybe only 70% average for the entire movement- versus another exercise that is around 85% at the peak but 80% average.

    I'm just going from memory and may be wrong, so I'll wait for other responses.
    Plus it doesn't take into account how heavy you are lifting in the exercise relative to one another. 70% at a higher max will still recruit more muscle.

    Another thing is the % of max they measure at. I can't remember off the top of my head what they used but I have a feeling it was 60%, which is quite low for big exercises.

    Another thing is that EMG is only as good as how the probes are placed and what probes are used. subdermal probes are more accurate but are only measuring the site they touch, dermals take in more but don't account for deeper fibres.

    So don't put too much stock in this sort of study by itself.


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    Re: Muscle Stimulation Study Using EMG: Which Exercises Work?

    Well if there is one thing that I am glad to see is the presence and use of studies. Of course it would be ideal if we really had these sorts of studies and definitive things like that to use for decision, but that is just not how things work most of the time, at least. This is certainly some interesting stuff though, so thanks.




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    Re: Muscle Stimulation Study Using EMG: Which Exercises Work?

    Wow, posted in 2008 and I see it for the first time now. Interesting study, thanks for bumping the thread! ^^




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    Re: Muscle Stimulation Study Using EMG: Which Exercises Work?

    Sort of mis leading study.


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