Fatigue effects upon sticking region and electromyography in a six-repetition maximum bench press

J Sports Sci. 2013;31(16):1823-30. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2013.803593. Epub 2013 Jul 23.


The aim of the study was to examine the sticking region and concomitant neuromuscular activation of the prime movers during six-repetition maximum (RM) bench pressing. We hypothesised that both peak velocities would decrease and that the electromyography (EMG) of the prime movers (deltoid, major pectoralis and triceps) would increase during the pre-sticking and sticking region during the six repetitions due to fatigue. Thirteen resistance-trained males (age 22.8 ± 2.2 years, stature 1.82 ± 0.06 m, body mass 83.4 ± 7.6 kg) performed 6-RM bench presses. Barbell kinematics and EMG activity of pectoralis major, deltoid anterior, and triceps brachii during the pre-, sticking and post-sticking region of each repetition in a 6-RM bench press were analysed. For both the sticking as the post-sticking region, the time increased significantly from the first to the sixth repetition. Vertical barbell height at the start of sticking region was lower, while the height at the end of the sticking region and post-sticking region did not change during the six repetitions. It was concluded that in 6-RM bench pressing performance, the sticking region is a poor mechanical force region due to the unchanged barbell height at the end of the sticking region. Furthermore, when fatigue occurs, the pectoralis and the deltoid muscles are responsible for surpassing the sticking region as indicated by their increased activity during the pre- and sticking region during the six-repetitions bench press.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Deltoid Muscle / physiology
  • Electromyography
  • Fatigue / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Movement*
  • Muscle Strength*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Pectoralis Muscles / physiology
  • Resistance Training*
  • Thorax
  • Upper Extremity
  • Weight Lifting / physiology*
  • Young Adult