Comparison of Strength Differences and Joint Action Durations Between Full and Partial Range-of-Motion Bench Press Exercise, Mookerjee, S and Ratamess, N., J Strength Cond Res 13: 76–81, 1999 Intro:
Muscular strength has been shown to vary throughout the range of motion (ROM) of a given joint (2, 4, 17, 24, 25, 26). Possible mechanisms for this phenomenon may be due to the muscle length–tension relationship (17, 24), moment arm length (17), and muscle activation and mass (25). Variations in strength can be depicted as strength curves (17), which permit the identification of areas of highest force output. Most of the literature focuses on isometric strength for single- joint movements, and limited data are available for dynamic, multijoint resistance exercises. Dynamic partial range of motion (partial ROM) training is an advanced strength-training technique frequently utilized by athletes in many sports. Zatsiorsky (33) has described the accentuation principle, where the intent is to train in the range of motion where there is demand for maximal force production. One form of this type of training is designed to overload the musculoskeletal system with supramaximal loads (greater than 100% of one repetition maximum [1RM]) in the area of the ROM where maximal force is produced. It is believed that adaptations occur in response to the extreme overload via a decline in neural inhibition (28). Studies on the bench press show an area of the ROM where maximal force production occurs (5, 18). For a dynamic lift, this ROM is beyond the "sticking point" near full elbow extension (5, 18). Wilson et al. (30) found that this area for an isometric bench press was at an elbow angle of 120 degrees.
Most studies on dynamic partial ROM training were performed on clinical population samples in which subjects had limited ROM (9, 10). These studies showed that partial ROM training increased isometric strength at the specifically trained ROM and in full ROM (9, 10). Similarly, other studies using isometric training have demonstrated angular specificity of strength improvements and a spillover of strength of 6208 from the trained joint angle (14, 15, 24).
Sullivan and colleagues (23) studied moderately experienced, weight-trained subjects during the barbell curl exercise. They found partial ROM exercise produced greater torque compared to full ROM exercise. However, data on dynamic, partial ROM traininginduced differences in muscular strength in advanced subjects is limited and needs to be addressed. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to (a) investigate strength differences following an acute exposure to full and partial ROM bench press exercise using 1RM and 5RM (five repetition maximum) and (b) describe elbow joint action durations during full and partial ROM bench press exercise at 1RM and 5RM. Discussion:
The initial finding in this study was the occurrence of a statistically significant difference in partial ROM bench press performance in advanced subjects who performed both full ROM and partial ROM bench press exercises. Following two testing sessions with 4 days during which subjects continued to train (only avoiding use of the bench press and any supplemental exercise), subjects’ partial ROM bench press increased by 4.8 and 4.1% for the 1RM and 5 RM, respectively (see Figure 1). Individuals who train exclusively in a full ROM may fail to optimally train in the area of the ROM where maximal force developement occurs. This is possibly due to the load requirement for the full ROM bench press being limited by the "sticking point" (5).
Loads used for the partial ROM bench press exceeded that of the full ROM bench press. During the second testing session, loads were 10.7 and 17.6% greater in the partial ROM for the 1RM and 5RM tests, respectively. These results corroborate previous work (5, 18, 31) on the bench press where this ROM was described as the area of maximal strength. The results also support the findings of Sullivan et al. (23), who reported greater torque production during performance of partial range of motion barbell curls.
The partial ROM technique facilitates training with higher loads than is possible with full ROM movements.
1. CALLAWAY, C.W., W.C. CHUMLEA, C. BOUCHARD, J.H. HIMES, T.G. LOHMAN, A.D. MARTIN, C.D. MITCHELL, W.H. MUELLER, A.F. ROCHE, AND V.D. SEEFELDT. Circumferences. In: Anthropometric Standardization Reference Manual. T.G. Lohman, A.F. Roche, and R.M. Martorell, eds. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 1988. pp. 39–54.
2. CAMPNEY, H.K. AND R.W. WEHR. Significance of strength variation through a range of joint motion. Phys. Ther. 45:773–779. 1965.
3. CARPENTER, D.M., J.E. GRAVES, M.L. POLLOCK, S.H. LEGGETT, D. FOSTER, B. HOLMES, AND M.N. FULTON. Effect of 12 and 20 weeks of resistance training on lumbar extension torque production. Phys. Ther. 71:580–588. 1991.
4. CLARKE, H.H., E.C. ELKINS, G.M. MARTIN, AND K.G. WAKIM. Relationship between body position and the application of muscle power to movements of the joints. Arch. Phys. Med. Rehab. 31: 81–89. 1950.
5. ELLIOTT, B.C., G.J. WILSON, AND G.K. KERR. A biomechanical analysis of the sticking region in the bench press. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 21:450–462. 1989.
6. ELORANTA, V., AND P.V. KOMI. Function of the quadriceps femoris muscle under the full range of forces and differing contraction velocities of concentric work. EMG Clin. Neurophysiol. 20:159–174. 1980.
7. ELORANTA, V., AND P.V. KOMI. Function of the quadriceps femoris muscle under the full range of forces and differing contraction velocities of concentric work. EMG Clin. Neurophysiol. 21:419–431. 1981.
8. FLECK, S.J., AND W.J. KRAEMER. Designing Resistance Training Programs. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 1987.
9. GRAVES, J.E., M.L. POLLOCK, A.E. JONES, A.B. COLVIN, AND S.H. LEGGETT. Specificity of limited range of motion variable resistance training. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 21:84–89. 1989.
10. GRAVES, J.E., M.L. POLLOCK, S.H. LEGGETT, D.M. CARPENTER, C.K. FIX, AND M.N. FULTON. Limited range-of-motion lumbar extension strength training. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 24:128–133. 1992.
11. HORTOBAGYI, T., AND F.I. KATCH. Role of concentric force in limiting improvement in muscular strength. J. Appl. Physiol. 68:650– 658. 1990.
12. JACKSON, A., T. JACKSON, J. HNATEK, AND J. WEST. Strength development: Using functional isometrics in an isotonic strength training program. Res. Q. Exerc. Sport 56:234–237. 1985.
13. KITAI, T.A., AND D.G. SALE. Specificity of joint angle in isometric training. Eur. J. Appl. Physiol. 58:744–748. 1989.
14. KNAPIK, J.J., R.H. MAWDSLEY, AND N.V. RAMOS. Angular specificity and test mode specificity of isometric and isokinetic strength training. J. Orthop. Sports Phys. Ther. 5:58–65. 1983.
15. KNAPIK, J.J., J.E. WRIGHT, R.H. MAWDSLEY, AND J. BRAUN. Isometric, isotonic, and isokinetic torque variations in four muscle groups through a range of joint motion. Phys. Ther. 63:938–947. 1983.
16. KOMI, P.V. Training of muscle strength and power: Interaction of neuromotoric, hypertrophic, and mechanical factors. Int. J. Sports Med. 7:10–15. 1986.
17. KULIG, K., J.G.ANDREWS, AND J.G. HAY. Human strength curves. Exerc. Sports Sci. Rev. 12:417–466. 1984.
18. LANDER, J.E., B.T. BATES, J.A. SAWHILL, AND J. HAMILL. A comparison between free-weight and isokinetic bench pressing. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 17:344–353. 1985.
19. MADSEN, N., AND T. MCLAUGHLIN. Kinematic factors influencing performance and injury risk in the bench press exercise. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 16:376–381. 1984.
20. POLLOCK, M.L., S.H. LEGGETT, J.E. GRAVES, A. JONES, M. FULTON, AND J. CIRULLI. Effect of resistance training on lumbar extension strength. Am. J. Sports Med. 17:624–629. 1989.
21. RUTHERFORD, G.M., AND D.A. JONES. The role of learning and coordination in strength training. Eur. J. Appl. Physiol. 55:100– 105. 1986.
22. SALE, D.G. Testing strength and power. In: Physiological Testing of the High-Performance Athlete. J.D. MacDougall, H.A. Wenger, and H.J. Green, eds. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 1991. pp. 76–77.
23. SULLIVAN, J.J., R.G. KNOWLTON, P. DEVITA, AND D.D. BROWN. Cardiovascular response to restricted range of motion resistance exercise. J. Strength Cond. Res. 10:3–7. 1996.
24. THEPAUT-MATHIEU, C., J. VANHOECKE, AND B. MATON. Myoelectrical and mechanical changes linked to length specificity during isometric training. J. Appl. Physiol. 64:1500–1505. 1988.
25. TSUNODA, N., F. O’HAGAN, D.G. SALE, AND J.D. MACDOUGALL. Elbow flexion strength curves in untrained men and women and male bodybuilders. Eur. J. Appl. Physiol. 66:235–239. 1993.
26. WEIR, J.P., L.L. WAGNER, AND T.J. HOUSH. The effect of rest interval length on repeated maximal bench presses. J. Strength Cond. Res. 8:58–60. 1994.
27. WILLIAMS, M., AND L. STUTZMAN. Strength variation through the range of joint motion. Phys. Ther. Rev. 39:145–152. 1959.
28. WILSON, G. Strength and power in sport. In: Applied Anatomy and Biomechanics in Sport. J. Bloomfield, T. Ackland, and B. Elliott, eds. Boston: Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1994. pp. 110–208.
29. WILSON, G.J., B.C. ELLIOTT, AND G.A. WOODS. The effect on performance of imposing a delay during a stretch–shorten cycle movement. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 23:364–370. 1991.
30. WILSON, G.J., B.C. ELLIOTT, AND G.K. KERR. Bar path and force profile characteristics for maximal and submaximal loads in the bench press. Int. J. Sport Biomech. 5:390–402. 1989.
31. WILSON, G.J., A.J. MURPHY, AND J.F. PRYOR. Musculotendinous stiffness: Its relationship to eccentric, isometric, and concentric performance. J. Appl. Physiol. 76:2714–2719. 1994.
32. WILSON, G.J., G.A. WOOD, AND B.C. ELLIOTT. Optimal stiffness of series elastic component in a stretch–shorten cycle activity. J. Appl. Physiol. 70:825–833. 191.
33. ZATSIORSKY, V. Science and Practice of Strength Training. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 1995.