Effects of Performing Isometric Bench Press Training at Single Versus Multiple Joint Positions on Strength and Power Performance

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Danny Lum Sport Science and Sport Medicine, Singapore Sport Institute, Singapore
Physical Education and Sports Science, National Institute of Education, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

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Swee Keng Soh Sport Science and Sport Medicine, Singapore Sport Institute, Singapore

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Cheryl J.H. Teo Sport Science and Sport Medicine, Singapore Sport Institute, Singapore

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Olivia Q.H. Wong Sport Science and Sport Medicine, Singapore Sport Institute, Singapore

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Marcus J.C. Lee Sport Science and Sport Medicine, Singapore Sport Institute, Singapore

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Isometric strength training has been reported to benefit various sport-related dynamic performances. However, it is still unknown whether performing isometric strength training at single or multiple joint angles would elicit greater benefit. Purpose: To compare the effects of isometric bench press performed at single (SIBP) and multiple (MIBP) joint angles on dynamic strength and overhead throwing performance. Methods: Sixteen male softball and baseball athletes performed overhead throwing, 1-repetition-maximum (1RM) bench press, and ballistic push-up during pretest and posttest. They were then randomly assigned to either SIBP or MIBP to undergo 12 strength training sessions. During the training, isometric bench press was performed at only 90° elbow angle for SIBP but at 60°, 90°, and 120° elbow angles for MIBP. Results: A significant main time effect was observed for bench press 1RM (P = .003) and relative 1RM (P < .001). Similarly, a significant main time effect was observed for ballistic push-up peak power only (P = .037). There was no significant change in overhead throwing velocity in either group. There was also no significant difference in change in all measures between groups. However, a moderate effect in favor of MIBP was observed for change in ballistic push-up peak power (P = .180, g = 0.67). Conclusions: Based on the current findings, the inclusion of both SIBP and MIBP were equally beneficial to maximal strength development. However, performing MIBP had a greater effect on power development.

Lum (dannylum82@gmail.com) is corresponding author.

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