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Bench pressing is an upper body exercise. An individual, while on his back, when performing bench pressing, tends to lower body weight to the point of one’s own chest. Then one pushes the weight back up to the point, where the arm ends up being straight. This form of exercise is carried out with an aim of aiding in the development of pectoralis main muscles and other muscles in the body that are supportive in nature, such as Serratus anterior, trapeze, anterior deltoids ,the triceps, scapulae fixers, and caracobrachialis. One of the lifts that are used in bench pressing is known as barbell lift, which is popularly used in the Powerlifting sport. It tends to be largely used in bodybuilding, weight training, as well as in other forms of fitness exercises that are aimed at building an individual's chest. The human physiological function and the anatomical composure purely rely on the flexibility of the muscles. With limited flexibility, the body experiences a lot of overuse on the muscles, including the tendons and even the blood vessels. This may lead to very serious complications. Thus, the core principle of this study is to research the effectiveness of the practice of restructuring the muscles after the hamstring incidence, especially in the sports field.

This factor is very important in the development and functioning of the human health, both physically and emotionally. Muscular tightness is a predisposing factor in the development of the muscle injury. It acts as an intrinsic stage in the development of such problems in the muscles of an individual or personality sportsman. It, therefore, calls for the proper physical activities that will help the muscles to adapt accurately to the eventual overuse in the field of sport. In the health sector and sports field muscle tendon strains are very common among people.

Muscles used in the Bench Press

Generic bench pressing tends to make use of pectoralis main muscles, triceps, anterior deltoid, as well as coracobrachialis as of flexing an individual’s shoulder. In addition, unconscious and triceps brachii to produce what is known as elbow extension. Hand spacing, which tends to be wider, creates a larger prominence on the shoulder flexion. On the other hand, hand spacing that is narrower tends to make use of elbow extension. When it comes to hand spacing that is wide, pectoral muscle is usually in use. Narrower spacing of the hand is directly related to the working triceps. Additionally, bench pressing tends to make use of tonic muscles, which are also known as stabilizing muscles. These groups of muscles include inferior and middle Trapezius, and Serratus anterior, which falls under the category of scapular stabilizers.

Injuries during the Bench Pressing

Hamstring injuries are common in the sporting arena and are very frequent in activities that involve issues like running, kicking, jumping, or sprinting; it may also be caused by bench pressing. The incidences of hamstring strains range from between 8 percent and 34 percent with very high recurrence rates. It is, indeed, the most common injury in athletes, especially the sprinters. Inadequate flexibility in the training sessions has been seen as the predisposing factor to the development of hamstring in most athletes in the current society. It is vital for the athletes to perform some stretching exercises before the actual sporting activity begins. This is because the stretching activities will greatly increase the flexibility of the muscles and at the same time reduce the stiffness of the muscles in the long run. The maintenance of the normal muscle length requires a very regular stretching in order to prevent the stiffness of the muscles during the strenuous exercise or the actual practice in the field. The individual will then benefit from the decreased risk of musculoskeletal injuries and, thus, enhance the major physical performance.

Muscular flexibility is an essential aspect of normal human function. Limited flexibility has been proven to predispose a person to several musculoskeletal overuse injuries and, as a result, may affect a functional level of a person. Muscular tightness is considered to be an intrinsic risk factor for the muscle injury development. Musculo tendinous strains are the most frustrating and prevalent injuries that occur among the health care professionals and athletes.

The lack of flexibility has been suggested as a predisposing factor to hamstring strains.  Proposed a theoretical model for hamstring strains. Scholars consider that they result from a complex interaction of four etiologic factors: warm-up, strength, fatigue, and flexibility. To prevent muscle injuries, stretching exercises before sports activities are usually recommended. Reasons for stretching relate to beliefs that stretching exercises will increase flexibility and decrease muscle stiffness.

In order to maintain normal muscle length, regular stretching is required to prevent muscle stiffness, to benefit from the decreased risk of musculoskeletal injuries, and to enhance physical performance. Previous studies concerning muscle stiffness suggest that, at a given muscle length, cycle stretching will reduce the force that is placed upon the muscle and associated connective tissue. Theoretically, less tension will be applied within the muscular tendon tissue, when it is subjected to the changes in the joint motion that accompany sport or recreational activity. Thus, the potential for muscular tendon strain throughout the normal range of motion will be reduced by elongation of the muscle tendon unit (Gabbett, 2003).

Considering the importance of hamstring flexibility in general and athletic population, maintaining the flexibility of hamstring muscle is of an utmost importance for the health care professionals, and to achieve this goal, one needs to know the most effective and efficient techniques to gain hamstring flexibility. Numerous investigations establish PNF techniques as being more effective than the traditional stretching exercises suggested for flexibility enhancement or a range of motion.

Variations in Bench Pressing

The main role of bench pressing is aimed at building the chest of an individual involved in this nature of bodybuilding exercise. Body press variations usually work differently under various subgroups of muscles and the muscles involved also work in different ways. They are at different angles that can be used to conduct bench pressing exercise.

How to Conduct Bench Pressing

This uses a momentum developed through the bouncing of several movements in order to increase the tensile force to the tendons supporting the muscles, as it approaches its maximum length. It is the most likely mode to cause injury to the athletes in a broader sense. This is because it can exceed the extensibility limits of the muscle tendon unit in a destructive and uncontrolled manner. These rapid movements will probably invoke a strong monastic stretch reflex in the muscle that is stretched. This, resulting in the sudden increase in the muscle tension, will reduce the extent, to which the muscle will be lengthened; thus, increase the chance of injury to both the tendon and the muscle. Ballistic muscle movement does not allow for neurological adaptations to take place. It implies that this method has not been fully advocated for use in the contemporary society.

On the other hand, Static muscle movement is the stationery stretching that is held for a specific period of time. The specific joints are locked in positions that place the connective tissues and muscles at their greatest possible length. This takes advantage of the inverse metastatic reflex. This, in turn, promotes muscle relaxation; thus, leads to further stretch and range of motion (ROM). The controlled and slow movement allows the act of stretching to be performed safely and with reduced risk of injury in comparison to other forms of muscle movement (Dadebo, 2004).

Additionally, Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) is an advanced form of flexibility training, which involves both the stretching and contraction of the muscle group being targeted. It was originally developed as a form of rehabilitation. As some variations of PNF stretching are distinguished, there is one thing in common: they all facilitate muscular inhibition. Various PNF techniques based on Kabat’s concept are: Contract Relax (CR), Contract Relax Antagonist Contract (CRAC), and Hold Relax (HR).

Hold Relax (HR) technique is an isometric contraction of the shortened muscle against the maximum resistance followed by a relaxation phase. The contract relax technique includes the concentric contraction of the shortened muscle and then relaxation phase, while in Contract Relax - Agonist Contract (CRAC) technique – there is isometric contraction of the shortened muscle followed by relaxation and later concentric contraction of the opposing muscle or muscle group.

Muscle movement is very important in the training of exercise and the therapeutic regimes to most illnesses in the human body. It increases the joint range of motion. The improvements in the imaging of the soft tissue, as well as the measurement of force technology, have been at the forefront of allowing the biomechanical studies to try and explain the effect of stretch on the tendon of the muscles in the body. This will, in turn, affect the muscle performance at greater heights. These insights would be very useful in the management of several conditions in the world. It will boost the confidence of the health professionals at combating problems related to exercise (DePino & Webright, 2000).

Muscle tension biomechanics, tension in the muscles, originates from the two mechanical sources. These are the active source and the passive source. The active source simply comes from the contractile effects of the force generated from the interaction from both the actin and myosin fibers. On the other hand, the passive source arises from the connective tissue parts of the skeletal muscles, especially when elongated beyond the resting length. The two sources are, however, inseparable, because the connective tissue matrix of the muscle is very complex in nature. This is because of the anatomical positions of the human body. The acting components have some elastic components that make it difficult to categorize what type exactly causes the tension or stretching in the muscle fiber.

Most people are knowledgeable about the electromechanical and hyperbolic force velocity properties of the muscle that also complicate the production of the muscle forces in the physical activities. Most biochemical models of the muscle use the technique developed by Hill that includes a series of several components of the elastic forces to account for the confusing passive sources of the tensional intrigues. This will help in the evaluation of the interaction of the active and passive sources of the tensional torso. It dwells on the muscle length dependent properties, since this gives a clear picture of the mechanical property that is related to the stretching exercises (Rowlands & Marginson, 2003). This force and moment of the force at the axis of the joint, which is created by the specific muscle or the muscle group. It is the best example and an experiment to investigate both the active and passive forces.

Biomechanics has been used in the description of the active and passive components of the muscle, as being the length tension relationship of the very muscular. The active tension of the skeletal muscle has about tree limbs or regions. These are the ascending, the descending, and the plateau.

Effects of Bench Pressing

When a muscle is stretched using any of the techniques like static, dynamic, or the PNF, some short term effects could arise from the same muscle. Acute or short term effects on the muscle relate to the changes in the performance of the muscle within the first few hours of exercise. This section will look at the factors that affect the acute response of the muscle to the stretching effect. It goes further to depend purely on the biomechanical performance of variance of the interest. Some biomechanical variables, like range of motion, have also been shown to improve, as a result of the stretching effect. Some also appear to be not affected by the same effect.

The passive tension purely depends on the rate of stretch, where this dependency implies that the tensile strength resistance in a muscle depends wholly on the timing on the stretch. This is referred to as the viscoelasticity. The load slope curves to the viscoelastic materials are very complex within several regions. The region called the toe region is considered to be the initial quick elongation with a very minimal rise in the force applied to the very muscle. This is followed by the non-linear region and, finally, the elastic region, where the curve begins to approximate a straight line. If the tissues under this effect were pulled to failure, the curve would show a plastic region, where the curves would eventually flatten to a permanent damage to the tissue.

At moments of the normal activities, most ligament and tendon strain are typically between 2 and 5 percent strain in that they occur in the toe and simply before the elastic regions of the curve. The viscoelastic response to the muscles, ligaments, and tendons means that a slow stretch will create less passive tension than a very fast stretch to the same length. Stretching creates a very acute increase in the joint range of motion that tends to persist for more than 60 to 90 minutes. This short term increase in the static flexibility is related to the increase in stretch tolerance. It means that the increased motion range may be related to an analgesic effect that will allow an individual to tolerate higher levels of passive tension needed for the elongation of the stretch further.


There are various methods that one can employ to improve on the bench pressing movement. Firstly, one should improve the technique used for bench pressing. The individual concerned should bring the bar close to his wrists and this will ease the movement of the muscles. Then the individual in question should squeeze the bar, as this will act the triceps of the individual concerned. Secondly, the person involved in the process should strengthen his arms and back in order to create a solid base, within which to carry out his bench press exercise. In addition, an individual involved in this type of exercise, should lift the weight fast, as studies have shown that the faster an individual is, the more he is able to bench press (Sharman, 2006). Finally, one should avoid injuries during the process by having the appropriate body balance, employing the appropriate exercise techniques, and having the right posture.

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