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Paulo H. Marchetti and Marco C. Uchida

The aim of the current study was to investigate the EMG activity of pectoralis major and latissimus dorsi muscles during the pullover exercise. Eight healthy male volunteers took part in the study. The EMG activity of the pectoralis major and that of the latissimus dorsi of the right side were acquired simultaneously during the pullover exercise with a free-weight barbell during both the concentric and eccentric phases of the movement. After a warm-up, all the subjects were asked to perform the pullover exercise against an external load of 30% of their body weight, during 1 set × 10 repetitions. The criterion adopted to normalize the EMG data was the maximal voluntary isometric activation. The present findings demonstrated that the barbell pullover exercise emphasized the muscle action of the pectoralis major more than that of the latissimus dorsi, and the higher activation depended on the external force lever arm produced.