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Comparison Between Bench Press Throw and Ballistic Push-up Tests to Assess Upper-Body Power in Trained Individuals

Bartolomei, Sandro1; Nigro, Federico1; Ruggeri, Sandro1; Malagoli Lanzoni, Ivan1; Ciacci, Simone2; Merni, Franco2; Sadres, Eliahu3; Hoffman, Jay R.4; Semprini, Gabriele2

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: June 2018 - Volume 32 - Issue 6 - p 1503–1510
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002571
Original Research

Bartolomei, S, Nigro, F, Ruggeri, S, Malagoli Lanzoni, I, Ciacci, S, Merni, F, Sadres, E, Hoffman, JR, and Semprini, G. Comparison between bench press throw and ballistic push-up tests to assess upper-body power in trained individuals. J Strength Cond Res 32(6): 1503–1510, 2018—The purpose of this study was to validate the ballistic push-up (BPU) test performed with hands on a force plate as a method to measure upper-body power. Twenty-eight experienced resistance-trained men (age = 25.4 ± 5.2 years; body mass = 78.5 ± 9.0 kg; body height = 179.6 ± 7.8 cm) performed, 2 days apart, a bench press 1 repetition maximum (1RM) test and upper-body power tests. Mean power (MP) and peak power (PP) were assessed using the bench press throw (BT) test and the BPU test performed in randomized order. The area under the force/power curve (AUC) obtained at BT was also calculated. Power expressed at BPU was estimated using a time-based prediction equation. Mean force and the participant's body weight were used to predict the bench press 1RM. Pearson product-moment correlations were used to examine relationships between the power assessment methods and between the predicted 1RM bench and the actual value. Large correlations (0.79; p < 0.001) were found between AUC and MP expressed at BPU. Large correlations were also detected between MP and PP expressed at BT and BPU (0.75; p < 0.001 and 0.74; p < 0.001, respectively). Very large correlations (0.87; p < 0.001) were found between the 1RM bench and the 1RM predicted by the BPU. Results of this study indicate that BPU represents a valid and reliable method to estimate the upper-body power in resistance-trained individuals.

1School of Pharmacy, Biotechnology, and Motor Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy;

2Department of Biomedical and Neuromotor Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy;

3The Nat Holman School for Coaches and Instructors, Wingate Institute for Physical Education and Sport, Netanya, Israel; and

4Sport and Exercise Science, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida

Address correspondence to Sandro Bartolomei,

Copyright © 2018 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.