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A Comparison of Force Curve Profiles Between the Bench Press and Ballistic Bench Throws

Clark, Ross A1,2; Bryant, Adam L2; Humphries, Brendan1

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: November 2008 - Volume 22 - Issue 6 - p 1755-1759
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181874735
Original Research

Clark, RA, Bryant, AL, and Humphries, B. A comparison of force curve profiles between the bench press and ballistic bench throws. J Strength Cond Res 22(6): 1755-1759, 2008-The purpose of this study was to compare the peak force and force curve characteristics during a traditional bench press (BP) and a ballistic bench throw (BT). Eight (age = 21.0 ± 2.3 years, height = 182.3 ± 7.4 cm, body mass = 85.9 ± 5.5 kg) semi-professional rugby league players with resistance and power training experience performed both BP and BT exercises at loads of 55 and 80% of their predicted one-repetition maximum. The force curves for each test were then divided into three intensity levels, set at low to moderate (0-75%), high (75-95%), and near-maximal force (95-100%). These values were obtained by determining the percentage of the range of motion (ROM) in which the force produced during each test was within these thresholds. The BT exercise produced significantly (p < 0.05) higher peak force than BP under both loading conditions. A significantly greater portion of the ROM during the 80% BT was at a high intensity in comparison with the BP. No significant differences were found between force intensity conditions at 55% loads. It can be concluded that performing the BT exercise results in a greater peak force output when compared with the traditional BP movement under both resistance training and maximal power loading conditions. Furthermore, performing the BT exercise with heavy loads results in a more efficient training method for maintaining high force levels throughout the ROM.

1School of Health and Human Performance, Faculty of Arts, Health and Science, Central Queensland University, North Rockhampton, Australia; 2Centre for Health, Exercise and Sports Medicine, School of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia

Address correspondence to Ross A. Clark,

© 2008 National Strength and Conditioning Association