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Most Efficient Exercises (EMG Testing)


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Excerpt: This isnt gospel but still provides some great information about exercise selection. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Well, thanks to EMG (Electromyography), we can now determine the best exercises for each muscle group. An EMG is a device that is used for measuring extremely small amounts of electricity generated by muscles below the surface of the skin. Let me explain how EMG works so you can get a better idea. Two collectors called electrodes are placed on the surface of the skin

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  1. #1
    Freelance Writer future's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Most Efficient Exercises (EMG Testing)

    This isnt gospel but still provides some great information about exercise selection.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Well, thanks to EMG (Electromyography), we can now determine the best exercises for each muscle group. An EMG is a device that is used for measuring extremely small amounts of electricity generated by muscles below the surface of the skin. Let me explain how EMG works so you can get a better idea.

    Two collectors called electrodes are placed on the surface of the skin above the muscle being tested. A computer determines the underlying electrical difference. These differences may indicate excessive muscle tension. For our purposes, the differences will also determine the percent of muscle fibers being stressed.

    The following are the best exercises for each body part in order of most effective to least. Beside the number is the percentage of muscle fibers worked.

    Chest

    * Decline dumbbell bench press - 93%
    * Incline dumbbell press - 91%
    * Decline bench press - 89%
    * Flat dumbbell bench press - 87%
    * Flat barbell bench press - 85%

    The flat barbell bench press, an exercise that is done by many beginners, is one of the least effective exercises. With chest, we can see that dumbbells are far superior to barbells.

    Biceps

    * One-arm preacher curl, *N/A
    * Incline dumbbells, N/A
    * Barbell curl w/ narrow grip, N/A

    The best bicep exercises are the ones that isolate them. It is very hard to cheat on one-arm preacher curls and the incline dumbbell curls keep your biceps in a stretched position at the bottom.

    Triceps

    * Skull crushers on a decline bench, N/A
    * Pushdowns w/ a rope, N/A

    Skull crushers are an effective exercise, but doing them on a decline bench keeps them in constant tension through out the whole movement. With a rope, you can add an extra pushing out movement at the bottom of a pushdown.

    Lats

    * Bent over barbell rows - 93%
    * One arm dumbbell rows - 91%
    * T-bar rows - 89%
    * Lat pulldown - 86%
    * Seated pulley rows - 83%

    I was surprised myself that pull-ups weren't one of the best exercises. The bent over row is the most effective exercise for the lats, and should be included in every back workout. It doesn't matter where they are, just include them.

    Side Delts

    * Incline dumbbell side laterals - 66%
    * Standing dumbbell side laterals - 63%
    * Seated dumbbell side laterals - 62%
    * Cable side laterals - 47%

    Many prefer to do their laterals seated because they can execute a more strict movement, but doing them in this fashion reduces the percent of muscle fibers being worked. Dumbbells prove to be more effective than cables.

    Rear Delts

    * Standing dumbbell bent laterals - 85%
    * Seated dumbbell laterals - 83%
    * Standing cable bent laterals - 77%

    Same as with side delts.

    Calves

    * Donkey calf raise - 80%
    * Standing one-leg calf raises - 79%
    * Standing two-leg calf raises - 68%
    * Seated calf raises - 61%

    Donkey calf raises are a forgotten exercise that I rarely see people doing. If you have weak calves, you should definitely be doing these. The one-legged versions are more effective for calves than the two-legged versions.

    Hamstrings

    * Standing leg curls - 82%
    * Lying leg curls - 71%
    * Seated leg curls - 58%
    * Sitff-legged-deadlift - 56%

    Just like with calves, the one-legged hamstring exercises are more effective.

    Quads

    * Leg extension, N/A
    * Squats, N/A
    * Lunges, N/A

    The leg extension is the most effective exercise here. The reason is because it's an isolation movement, and the quads are doing all of the work. Squats should be included in every workout. Even though they are one of the best compound movements, they still work the quads to a great deal. In recent studies, foot placement was shown to have little effect.

    Abs

    * Bicycle crunch maneuver, N/A
    * Hanging leg raise, N/A
    * Crunches on an exercise ball, N/A

    In the bicycle maneuver, all the parts of the abdominals are being worked, upper, lower, and the obliques. The crunch on an exercise ball requires more stabilizer muscles.

    We can conclude some ideas from these readings. An exercise can never work 100% of muscles fibers, which is why it is important to perform a variety of exercises and to change your workout every couple of weeks. Every exercise wasn't tested in this study, so it would be advisable to include some of these exercises in your routine and also experiment with others to see which gives you the best feeling. The exercises listed here are not necessarily the best mass-builders but they were proven to be the most effective.

    * No studies were done that showed the percentage of muscle fibers being worked. However, studies were done to determine the most effective.

    1. The science behind the physique: EMG Relived. http://www.tudorbumpa.com/org.htm
    2. Fahey, Thomas EdD. 25 best lifts. December, 2001. http://www.musculardevelopment.com/new/25bestlifts.htm

  2. #2
    The Shadow
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    Re: Most Efficient Exercises (EMG Testing)

    the arm exercises can be found in Muscle Meets Magnet

  3. #3
    Da Pope Sassy69's Avatar
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    Re: Most Efficient Exercises (EMG Testing)

    Is there any way to do Donkey Calf raises if you don't have a machine, other than having someone sit on your back?? (http://exrx.net/WeightExercises/Gast...CalfRaise.html)

  4. #4
    Cyborg ck2006's Avatar
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    Re: Most Efficient Exercises (EMG Testing)

    Quote Quote posted by Sassy69
    Is there any way to do Donkey Calf raises if you don't have a machine, other than having someone sit on your back?? (http://exrx.net/WeightExercises/Gast...CalfRaise.html)

    I was just going to ask what donkey calf raises were, thanks. but yes it would be nice to know what else I could do because I don't think I could have some one sit on my back.

  5. #5
    Da Pope
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    Re: Most Efficient Exercises (EMG Testing)

    errr... disagree with both methodology and findings (other than that recruitment varies between motions).

    and one should consider that innefficiency requires greater adaptation than efficiency....

    just some humble ramblings....

  6. #6
    The Shadow
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    Re: Most Efficient Exercises (EMG Testing)

    I lot of gyms have a machine similar to a donkey....its like a small hack machine in that you are bent slightly at the waist and you can keep your legs straight...imo the extra bang isnt worth thr effort unless you have the machine

  7. #7
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    Re: Most Efficient Exercises (EMG Testing)

    I read somewhere that it is not valid

    Besides,

    "Hamstrings

    * Standing leg curls - 82%
    * Lying leg curls - 71%
    * Seated leg curls - 58%
    * Sitff-legged-deadlift - 56%"

    I mean, come on... we don't need sophisticated measures to know that this can't be true
    If you don't shut your fucking mouth, I will kill you.

    Sport, truth, like art, is in the eye of the beholder. You believe what you choose and I'll believe what I know.
    Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice;
    it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.




  8. #8
    Da Pope
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    Re: Most Efficient Exercises (EMG Testing)

    Quote Quote posted by ck2006
    I was just going to ask what donkey calf raises were, thanks. but yes it would be nice to know what else I could do because I don't think I could have some one sit on my back.
    I did that at my old gym (lol NOT a place to do it lol) and got weird looks
    Quote Quote posted by The Shadow
    I lot of gyms have a machine similar to a donkey....its like a small hack machine in that you are bent slightly at the waist and you can keep your legs straight...imo the extra bang isnt worth thr effort unless you have the machine
    Neither of my gyms have anything close to this. They also dont have standing calf machine (although that can be creatively replaced by using other equipment)
    Quote Quote posted by macrophage69alpha
    errr... disagree with both methodology and findings (other than that recruitment varies between motions).

    and one should consider that innefficiency requires greater adaptation than efficiency....

    just some humble ramblings....
    Ramble on Mac...

  9. #9
    Da Pope Sassy69's Avatar
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    Re: Most Efficient Exercises (EMG Testing)

    Standing calf stuff you can do w/ a smith bar or cables or anything that allows you to put the weight on your shoulders and stand upright. I've actually seen people do donkey calf workouts w/ the smith bar & some good padding but you still need something to lean on and someoen to rerack it for you.

  10. #10
    Da Pope Sassy69's Avatar
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    Re: Most Efficient Exercises (EMG Testing)

    I'm goign to guess that the assumption that the EMG measures the "best" exercises is not an accurate statement - i.e. the measures listed above are measurable results via the EMG, but is the assumption correct that what is being measured implies the "best" exercises? Isn't there more to just electrical stimulation at exertion time to "growing" muscles? I don't know the right terminology here, but my guess is the assumption that what EMG measures indicates "best" is the point of contention here vs. whether or not the EMG measures what it measures accurately.

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