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Concept: Pectoralis major muscle


Training the bench press exercise on a traditional flat bench does not induce a level of instability as seen in sport movements and activities of daily living. Twenty participants were recruited to test two forms of instability: using one dumbbell rather than two and lifting on the COR bench compared to a flat bench. Electromyography (EMG) amplitudes of the pectoralis major, middle trapezius, external oblique, and internal oblique were recorded and compared. Differences in range of motion (ROM) were evaluated by measuring an angular representation of the shoulder complex. Four separate conditions of unilateral bench press were tested while lifting on a: flat bench with one dumbbell, flat bench with two dumbbells, COR Bench with one dumbbell, and COR Bench with two dumbbells. The results imply that there are no differences in EMG amplitude or ROM between the COR bench and traditional bench. However, greater ROM was found to be utilized in the single dumbbell condition, both in the COR bench and the flat bench.

Concepts: Fundamental physics concepts, Muscle, Electromyography, Bench press, Abdominal external oblique muscle, Pectoralis major muscle, Clavicle, Barbell


To compare the effects of a periodic resistance training (PTR) program with those of a continuous resistance training (CTR) program on muscle size and function, 14 young men were randomly divided into a CTR group and a PTR group. Both groups performed high-intensity bench press exercise training [75 % of one repetition maximum (1-RM); 3 sets of 10 reps] for 3 days per week. The CTR group trained continuously over a 24-week period, whereas the PTR group performed three cycles of 6-week training (or retraining), with 3-week detraining periods between training cycles. After an initial 6 weeks of training, increases in cross-sectional area (CSA) of the triceps brachii and pectoralis major muscles and maximum isometric voluntary contraction of the elbow extensors and 1-RM were similar between the two groups. In the CTR group, muscle CSA and strength gradually increased during the initial 6 weeks of training. However, the rate of increase in muscle CSA and 1-RM decreased gradually after that. In the PTR group, increase in muscle CSA and strength during the first 3-week detraining/6-week retraining cycle were similar to that in the CTR group during the corresponding period. However, increase in muscle CSA and strength during the second 3-week detraining/6-week retraining cycle were significantly higher in the PTR group than in the CTR group. Thus, overall improvements in muscle CSA and strength were similar between the groups. The results indicate that 3-week detraining/6-week retraining cycles result in muscle hypertrophy similar to that occurring with continuous resistance training after 24 weeks.

Concepts: Exercise, Triceps brachii muscle, Muscle contraction, Menstrual cycle, Strength training, Isometric exercise, Bench press, Pectoralis major muscle


: During resistance training protocols, people are often encouraged to target the scapular stabilizing musculature (middle and lower trapezius and serratus anterior) while minimizing shoulder prime mover activation (upper trapezius and large glenohumeral muscles) in their training regime, especially in overhead athletes with scapular dyskinesis. In order to increase the activation levels in the stabilizing muscles without drastically increasing the activation in the prime movers, unstable surfaces are frequently used during closed kinetic chain exercises (CKC). However, the specific influence of Redcord slings (RS) as an unstable surface tool on the shoulder muscle activation levels have rarely been investigated, despite these results may be used for adequate exercise selection. Therefore, a controlled laboratory study was performed on 47 healthy subjects (22 ± 4.31 yr; 176 ± 0.083 cm; 69± 8.57 kg) during four CKC exercises without and with RS: half push-up, knee push-up, knee prone bridging plus, and pull-up. When using RS, serratus anterior muscle activation decreased during the knee push-up and knee prone bridging plus exercise. In addition, a drastic increase in pectoralis major muscle activation was found during the half push-up and knee prone bridging plus exercise. Consequently, the use of RS does not necessarily imply that higher levels of scapular stabilizer muscle activation will be attained. These findings suggest RS might be an appropriate training tool when used within a general strengthening program, but should not be preferred over a stable base of support when training for specific scapular stabilization purposes.

Concepts: Stabilizer, Muscle, Physical exercise, Exercise, Exercise physiology, Pectoralis major muscle, Clavicle, Serratus anterior muscle


Abstract Immediate breast reconstruction with tissue expander has become an increasingly popular procedure. Complete coverage of the expander by a musculofascial layer provides an additional well-vascularised layer, reducing the rate of possible complications of skin necrosis, prosthesis displacement, and the late capsular contracture. Complete expander coverage can be achieved by a combination of pectoralis major muscle and adjacent thoracic fascia in selected patients. Seventy-five breast mounds in 59 patients were reconstructed, in the first stage a temporary tissue expander inserted immediately after mastectomy and a musculofascial layer composed of the pectoralis major muscle, the serratus anterior fascia, and the superficial pectoral fascia were created to cover the expander. The first stage was followed months later by implant insertion. Minor and major complications were reported in a period of follow-up ranging from 24-42 months (mean 31 months). Complete musculofascial coverage of the tissue expander was a simple and easy to learn technique providing that the patient has a well-formed and intact superficial pectoral and serratus anterior fascia. From a total of 75 breast mounds reconstructed, major complications rate was 4% (overall rate of 19.8%), including major seroma (n = 4), haematoma (n = 1), partial skin loss (n = 3), wound dehiscence (n = 1), major infection (n = 2), severe capsule contracture (n = 1), and expander displacement (n = 3). The serratus anterior fascia and the superficial pectoral fascia flaps can be effectively used as an autologous tissue layer to cover the lower and the lateral aspect of tissue expanders in immediate breast reconstruction after mastectomy.

Concepts: Plastic surgery, Breast, Breast reconstruction, Muscles of the upper limb, Pectoralis major muscle, Medial pectoral nerve, Tissue expansion


Tissue expander-based breast reconstruction is the most commonly utilized technique in the U.S. This modality, however, may be associated with significant pain related to pectoralis myospasms. Spasms of the pectoralis major likely result from trauma to the pectoral nerves during muscle elevation. In a subset of patients, Botox(®) therapy may be inadequate for long-term relief. We describe a patient with intractable pectoralis myospasms after breast reconstruction. Upon failing Botox(®) therapy, medial and lateral pectoral neurectomies were performed. Nine months after the procedure, the patient noted dramatic improvement in both symptoms and cosmesis with no musculoskeletal sequelae. We recommend medial and lateral pectoral neurectomy as an alternative in patients with intractable pectoral myospasms after tissue expander reconstruction.

Concepts: Patient, Breast, Breast reconstruction, Pectoralis major muscle, Medial pectoral nerve


Dunnick, DD, Brown, LE, Coburn, JW, Lynn, SK, and Barillas, SR. Bench press upper-body muscle activation between stable and unstable loads. J Strength Cond Res 29(12): 3279-3283, 2015-The bench press is one of the most commonly used upper-body exercises in training and is performed with many different variations, including unstable loads (ULs). Although there is much research on use of an unstable surface, there is little to none on the use of an UL. The purpose of this study was to investigate muscle activation during the bench press while using a stable load (SL) vs. UL. Twenty resistance-trained men (age = 24.1 ± 2 years; ht = 177.5 ± 5.8 cm; mass = 88.7 ± 13.7 kg) completed 2 experimental conditions (SL and UL) at 2 different intensities (60 and 80% one repetition maximum). Unstable load was achieved by hanging 16 kg kettlebells by elastic bands from the end of the bar. All trial lifts were set to a 2-second cadence with a slight pause at the bottom. Subjects had electrodes attached to 5 muscles (pectoralis major, anterior deltoid, medial deltoid, triceps brachii, and latissimus dorsi) and performed 3 isometric bench press trials to normalize electromyographic data. All 5 muscles demonstrated significantly greater activation at 80% compared with 60% load and during concentric compared with eccentric actions. These results suggest that upper body muscle activation is not different in the bench press between UL and SL. Therefore, coaches should use their preference when designing training programs.

Concepts: Biceps brachii muscle, Triceps brachii muscle, Muscle contraction, Trigraph, Bench press, Muscles of the upper limb, Pectoralis major muscle, Barbell


In order to avoid excess feed consumption during the force-feeding period in foie gras production, a dose-response experiment with seven feed consumption levels (450, 540, 630, 720, 810, 900, 990 g/day per bird) was conducted to evaluate the effects of feed consumption levels on growth performance and carcass composition of male Mule ducks from 91 to 102 days of age. One-day-old Mule ducklings (sterile and artificial hybrid of male Albatre Muscovy duck and female Pekin duck were fed a two-phase commercial diets for ad libitum intake from hatching to 91 days of age, followed by graded feeding levels of a corn diet by force-feeding from 91 to 102 days of age. Fifty-six 91-day-old male Mule ducks with similar BW were randomly assigned to seven treatments, with eight birds per treatment. Birds were housed in individual pens. At 102 days of age, final BW was measured and BW gain and feed conversion ratio of ducks from each treatment were calculated from day 91 to 102, and then all ducks were slaughtered to evaluate the yields of skin with subcutaneous fat, abdominal fat, breast meat (including pectoralis major and pectoralis minor), leg meat (including thigh and drum stick), and liver. Significant differences in BW gain, total liver weight and liver relative weight were observed among the treatments (P<0.001). According to the broken-line regression analysis, the optimal feed consumption levels of male Mule ducks from 91 to 102 days of age for maximum BW gain, total liver weight and liver relative weight were 217, 227 and 216 g feed/kg BW0.75·per day, respectively.

Concepts: Bird, Feed conversion ratio, Livestock, Pectoralis major muscle, Muscovy Duck, Duck, Ducks, Foie gras


The effect of commercial selection on the growth, efficiency, and yield of broilers was studied using 2 University of Alberta Meat Control strains unselected since 1957 and 1978, and a commercial Ross 308 strain (2005). Mixed-sex chicks (n = 180 per strain) were placed into 4 replicate pens per strain, and grown on a current nutritional program to 56 d of age. Weekly front and side profile photographs of 8 birds per strain were collected. Growth rate, feed intake, and measures of feed efficiency including feed conversion ratio, residual feed intake, and residual maintenance energy requirements were characterized. A nonlinear mixed Gompertz growth model was used to predict BW and BW variation, useful for subsequent stochastic growth simulation. Dissections were conducted on 8 birds per strain semiweekly from 21 to 56 d of age to characterize allometric growth of pectoralis muscles, leg meat, abdominal fat pad, liver, gut, and heart. A novel nonlinear analysis of covariance was used to test the hypothesis that allometric growth patterns have changed as a result of commercial selection pressure. From 1957 to 2005, broiler growth increased by over 400%, with a concurrent 50% reduction in feed conversion ratio, corresponding to a compound annual rate of increase in 42 d live BW of 3.30%. Forty-two-day FCR decreased by 2.55% each year over the same 48-yr period. Pectoralis major growth potential increased, whereas abdominal fat decreased due to genetic selection pressure over the same time period. From 1957 to 2005, pectoralis minor yield at 42 d of age was 30% higher in males and 37% higher in females; pectoralis major yield increased by 79% in males and 85% in females. Over almost 50 yr of commercial quantitative genetic selection pressure, intended beneficial changes have been achieved. Unintended changes such as enhanced sexual dimorphism are likely inconsequential, though musculoskeletal, immune function, and parent stock management challenges may require additional attention in future selection programs.

Concepts: Immune system, Natural selection, Sexual dimorphism, Gender, Sex, Feed conversion ratio, Poultry farming, Pectoralis major muscle


To examine the effects of grunting on velocity and force production during dynamic and static tennis strokes in collegiate tennis players. Thirty-two (16 M and 16 F) Division II and III collegiate tennis athletes with a mean age of 20.2 ± 1.89 years participated as subjects. Demographic and survey data were obtained prior to subjects completing a 10-15 minute warm-up of serves and ground strokes while grunting and not grunting. Subjects performed randomized sets (3 grunting and 3 non-grunting trials) of serves and forehand strokes both dynamically and isometrically. Stroke velocities and isometric forces were measured with a calibrated radar gun and calibrated dynamometer, respectively. EMG data from subjects' dominant pectoralis major and contralateral external oblique muscles were recorded and averaged for data analysis. A repeated measures multivariate analysis of variance (RM-MANOVA) compared dynamic stroke velocity, isometric muscle force, and peak EMG activity during each breathing condition at the 0.05 alpha level. The RMANOVA indicated that dynamic velocity and isometric force of both serves and forehand strokes were significantly greater when subjects grunted (F=46.572, p<0.001, power=1.00). Peak muscle activity in the external oblique and pectoralis major muscles was also greater when grunting during both types of strokes (F=3.867, p=0.05, power=0.950). Grunt history, gender, perceived advantages and disadvantages of grunting, years of experience, highest level of competition, and order of testing did not significantly alter any of these results. The velocity, force, and peak muscle activity during tennis serves and forehand strokes are significantly enhanced when athletes are allowed to grunt.

Concepts: Energy, Torque, Mass, Electromyography, Analysis of variance, Velocity, Abdominal external oblique muscle, Pectoralis major muscle


This investigation compared the effect of high-volume (VOL) versus high-intensity (INT) resistance training on stimulating changes in muscle size and strength in resistance-trained men. Following a 2-week preparatory phase, participants were randomly assigned to either a high-volume (VOL; n = 14, 4 × 10-12 repetitions with ~70% of one repetition maximum [1RM], 1-min rest intervals) or a high-intensity (INT; n = 15, 4 × 3-5 repetitions with ~90% of 1RM, 3-min rest intervals) training group for 8 weeks. Pre- and posttraining assessments included lean tissue mass via dual energy x-ray absorptiometry, muscle cross-sectional area and thickness of the vastus lateralis (VL), rectus femoris (RF), pectoralis major, and triceps brachii muscles via ultrasound images, and 1RM strength in the back squat and bench press (BP) exercises. Blood samples were collected at baseline, immediately post, 30 min post, and 60 min postexercise at week 3 (WK3) and week 10 (WK10) to assess the serum testosterone, growth hormone (GH), insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF1), cortisol, and insulin concentrations. Compared to VOL, greater improvements (P < 0.05) in lean arm mass (5.2 ± 2.9% vs. 2.2 ± 5.6%) and 1RM BP (14.8 ± 9.7% vs. 6.9 ± 9.0%) were observed for INT. Compared to INT, area under the curve analysis revealed greater (P < 0.05) GH and cortisol responses for VOL at WK3 and cortisol only at WK10. Compared to WK3, the GH and cortisol responses were attenuated (P < 0.05) for VOL at WK10, while the IGF1 response was reduced (P < 0.05) for INT. It appears that high-intensity resistance training stimulates greater improvements in some measures of strength and hypertrophy in resistance-trained men during a short-term training period.

Concepts: Muscle, Insulin-like growth factor 1, Growth hormone, Triceps brachii muscle, Muscular system, Strength training, Bench press, Pectoralis major muscle