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Article Title

RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN SEATED MEDICINE BALL THROW AND ISOMETRIC BENCH PRESS KINETICS

Abstract

Alexander R. Bryce, Andrew C. Fry &bCourtney E. Strubel

University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas

The bench press is an exercise commonly used as a means to improve upper body strength and power. Bench press performance may be assessed by testing 1 RM strength, or by using elaborate laboratory methods such as force transducers or external dynamometers. A simple field test such as a seated medicine ball throw (SMBT) has been used by coaches to assess bench press-like motions for sport performance. PURPOSE: To determine the relationships between performance on a seated medicine ball throw (SMBT) with isometric bench press maximum force (Fmax) and rate of force development (RFD). METHODS: Twenty four healthy subjects (15 males, 9 females; X±SD; age[yrs] = 21±1.0; hgt.[cm] = 175.0±10.1) volunteered to perform a 5 second isometric bench press test to determine rate of force development (RFD) and maximum force (Fmax) while sampling at 500 Hz. Subjects also performed a SMBT with an 8 lb. medicine ball. Subjects held the ball with both hands, brought their hands to the center of the chest and threw the ball as far as possible while keeping the forearms parallel to the ground. The distance was measured from the chest to the point of landing. RESULTS: SMBT distance (5.71 ± 1.29 m) exhibited a high correlation to both RFD (1081.5 ± 653.4 Ns-1) and Fmax (726.2 ± 310.2 N) on the bench press, with r = 0.8 and 0.93, respectively (p ≤ 0.01). CONCLUSION: The results of this study strongly suggest that performance on the seated med ball throw directly correlates with bench press performance, and could be used as an effective and simple evaluation tool. This is of particular value in field environments where proper bench press equipment or technology is unavailable.

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