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Abstract

International Journal of Exercise Science 11(1): 708-716, 2018. Kettlebells often replace dumbbells during common resistance training exercises such as the overhead press. When performing an overhead press, the center of mass of a dumbbell is in line with the glenohumeral joint. In comparison, the center of mass of the kettlebell is posterior to the glenohumeral joint. Posterior displacement of the kettlebell center of mass may result in less stability during the pressing motion. The purpose of this study was to examine muscle activity during an overhead press with resistance training implements of differing stability. Surface electromyography (EMG) for the anterior deltoid and pectoralis major was analyzed for 21 subjects. Technique and pace of the overhead press were standardized and monitored. Filtered EMG data were collected, normalized, and average peak amplitude as a percentage of MVIC was calculated for each repetition. A repeated-measures analysis of variance was used to compare EMG values for the anterior deltoid and pectoralis major across implements. A statistically significant increase in normalized EMG activity (p < .05) was identified in the anterior deltoid when using the dumbbell (63.3±13.3%) compared to the kettlebell (57.9±15.0%). In this study, EMG activity was augmented in the anterior deltoid when using the more stable implement, the dumbbell.

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