Influence of Exercise Order on Electromyographic Activity During Upper Body Resistance Training

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The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of exercise order on electromyographic activity in different muscle groups among youth men with experience in strength training. Three sets of 8 RM were performed of each exercise in two sequences order: (a) sequence A: bench press, chest fly, shoulder press, shoulder abduction, close grip bench press and lying triceps extension; (b) sequence B: the opposite order. The electromyographic activity was analyzed in the sternocostal head of the pectoralis major, anterior deltoid, and long head triceps brachii, normalized for maximal voluntary isometric contraction. The muscles activity of the sternocostal head of the pectoralis major, anterior deltoid, and long head triceps brachii showed significant interaction between sequence and exercise. The sternocostal head of the pectoralis major showed considerably higher activity in sequence A (100.13 ± 13.56%) than sequence B (81.47 ± 13.09%) for the chest fly. The anterior deltoid showed significantly higher electromyographic activity in sequence B (86.81 ± 40.43%) than sequence A (66.15 ± 22.02%) for the chest fly, whereas for the lying triceps extension, the electromyographic activity was significantly higher in sequence A (53.89 ± 27.09%) than sequence B (34.32 ± 23.70%). For the long head triceps brachii, only the shoulder press showed differences between sequences (A = 52.43 ± 14.64 vs. B = 38.53 ± 16.26). The present study showed that the exercise order could modify the training results even though there was no alteration in volume and intensity of the exercise. These changes may result in different training adaptations.

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