Increased deltoid and abdominal
muscle activity during swiss ball bench press. J. Strength Cond. Res.
Marshall PWM, Murphy BA.
Department of Sport and Exercise Science, University of Auckland, Tamaki
Campus, Auckland, New Zealand
The swiss is widely used in the recreational training
environment as a supplement to conventional resistance training. One such
application is to use the swiss ball as a bench support for bench press
exercise. There is no evidence to indicate that the use of a swiss ball is
beneficial for resistance training exercise. This study investigated muscle
activity using surface electromyography of upper-body and abdominal muscles
during the concentric and eccentric phases of the bench press on and off a swiss
ball. Volunteers for this study were 14 resistance-trained subjects who
performed isolated concentric and eccentric bench press repetitions using the 2
test surfaces with a 2-second cadence at a load equivalent to 60% maximum force
output. The average root mean square of the muscle activity was calculated for
each movement, and perceived exertion during the tasks was collected using a
Borg Scale. The results of the study showed that deltoid and abdominal muscle
activity was increased for repetitions performed using the swiss ball. Increased
deltoid muscle activity supports previous findings for increased activity when
greater instability is introduced to the bench press movement. Abdominal muscle
activity increases were not hypothesized, but this finding provides scientific
evidence for anecdotal reasoning behind swiss ball use as a potential core
stability training device.