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12.05.2017 | Original Article | Ausgabe 7/2017

European Journal of Applied Physiology 7/2017

Mind-muscle connection training principle: influence of muscle strength and training experience during a pushing movement

Zeitschrift:
European Journal of Applied Physiology > Ausgabe 7/2017
Autoren:
Joaquin Calatayud, Jonas Vinstrup, Markus D. Jakobsen, Emil Sundstrup, Juan Carlos Colado, Lars L. Andersen
Wichtige Hinweise
Communicated by Nicolas Place.

Abstract

Purpose

To investigate the effect of different attentional focus conditions on muscle activity during the push-up exercise and to assess the possible influence of muscle strength and training experience.

Methods

Eighteen resistance-trained men performed 1RM bench press testing and were familiarized with the procedure during the first session. In the second session, three different conditions were randomly performed: regular push-up and push-up focusing on using the pectoralis major and triceps brachii muscles, respectively. Surface electromyography (EMG) was recorded and analyzed (EMG normalized to max; nEMG) for the triceps brachii and pectoralis major muscles.

Results

Participants had on average 8 (SD 6) years of training experience and 1RM of 1.25 (SD 0.28) kg per kg bodyweight. Focusing on using pectoralis major increased activity in this muscle by 9% nEMG (95% CI 5–13; Cohen’s d 0.60) compared with the regular condition. Triceps activity was not significantly influenced by triceps focus although borderline significant, with a mean difference of 5% nEMG (95% CI 0–10; Cohen’s d 0.30). However, years of training experience was positively associated with the ability to selectively activate the triceps (β = 0.41, P = 0.04), but not the pectoralis. Bench press 1RM was not significantly associated with the ability to selectively activate the muscles.

Conclusion

Pectoralis activity can be increased when focusing on using this muscle during push-ups, whereas the ability to do this for the triceps is dependent on years of training experience. Maximal muscle strength does not appear to be a decisive factor for the ability to selectively activate these muscles.

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