Impact of the "Sling Shot" Supportive Device on Upper-Body Neuromuscular Activity during the Bench Press Exercise

Grzegorz Wojdala, Artur Golas, Michal Krzysztofik, Robert George Lockie, Robert Roczniok, Adam Zajac, Michal Wilk
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 2020 October 21, 17 (20)
The aim of this study was to compare the muscle activity between the sling shot assisted (SS) and control (CONT) flat barbell bench press for selected external loads of 70%, 85%, 100% one-repetition maximum (1RM). Ten resistance-trained men participated in the study (age = 22.2 ± 1.9 years, body mass = 88.7 ± 11.2 kg, body height = 179.5 ± 4.1, 1RM in the bench press = 127.25 ± 25.86 kg, and strength training experience = 6 ± 2.5 years). Evaluation of peak muscle activity of the dominant body side was carried out using surface electromyography (sEMG) recorded for the triceps brachii, pectoralis major, and anterior deltoid during each attempt. The three-way repeated measure ANOVA revealed statistically significant main interaction for condition x muscle group ( p < 0.01; η2 = 0.569); load x muscle group ( p < 0.01; η2 = 0.709); and condition x load ( p < 0.01; η2 = 0.418). A main effect was also observed for condition ( p < 0.01; η2 = 0.968); load ( p < 0.01; η2 = 0.976); and muscle group ( p < 0.01; η2 = 0.977). The post hoc analysis for the main effect of the condition indicated statistically significant decrease in %MVIC for the SS compared to CONT condition (74.9 vs. 88.9%MVIC; p < 0.01; ES = 0.39). The results of this study showed that using the SS significantly affects the muscle activity pattern of the flat bench press and results in its acute decrease in comparison to an equal load under CONT conditions. The SS device may be an effective tool both in rehabilitation and strength training protocols by increasing stability with a reduction of muscular activity of the prime movers.

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