Elbow joint fatigue and bench-press training

Yen Po Huang, You Li Chou, Feng Chun Chen, Rong Tyai Wang, Ming Jer Huang, Paul Pei Hsi Chou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


Context: Bench-press exercises are among the most common form of training exercise for the upper extremity because they yield a notable improvement in both muscle strength and muscle endurance. The literature contains various investigations into the effects of different bench-press positions on the degree of muscle activation. However, the effects of fatigue on the muscular performance and kinetics of the elbow joint are not understood fully. Objective: To investigate the effects of fatigue on the kinetics and myodynamic performance of the elbow joint in bench-press training. Design: Controlled laboratory study. Setting: Motion research laboratory. Patients or Other Participants: A total of 18 physically healthy male students (age = 19.6 ± 0.8 years, height = 168.7 ± 5.5 cm, mass = 69.6 ± 8.6 kg) participated in the investigation. All participants were right-hand dominant, and none had a history of upper extremity injuries or disorders. Intervention(s): Participants performed bench-press training until fatigued. Main Outcome Measure(s): Maximal possible number of repetitions, cycle time, myodynamic decline rate, elbow-joint force, and elbow-joint moment. Results: We observed a difference in cycle time in the initial (2.1 ± 0.42 seconds) and fatigue (2.58 ± 0.46 seconds) stages of the bench-press exercise (P = .04). As the participants fatigued, we observed an increase in the medial-lateral force (P = .03) and internal-external moment (P ≤ .04) acting on the elbow joint. Moreover, a reduction in the elbow muscle strength was observed in the elbow extension-flexion (P ≤ .003) and forearm supination-pronation (P ≤ .001) conditions. Conclusions: The results suggest that performing benchpress exercises to the point of fatigue increases elbow-joint loading and may further increase the risk of injury. Therefore, when clinicians design bench-press exercise regimens for general athletic training, muscle strengthening, or physical rehabilitation, they should control carefully the maximal number of repetitions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-321
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Athletic Training
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation

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    Huang, Y. P., Chou, Y. L., Chen, F. C., Wang, R. T., Huang, M. J., & Chou, P. P. H. (2014). Elbow joint fatigue and bench-press training. Journal of Athletic Training, 49(3), 317-321. https://doi.org/10.4085/1062-6050-49.1.05