Recently published research compared two favorite triceps exercises performed on a cable machine: overhead triceps extensions versus cable crunches. And it turns out that one can build 40% more muscle than the other.
The research was conducted by Ritsumeikan University and the Kanoya National Institute of Fitness and Sports. See how the research was conducted.
Do Overhead Triceps Extensions Versus Cable Pushups Build More Muscle?
A total of 21 participants (14 men and 7 women aged around 23) were used for the research. Before testing began, their one-rep maxes were tested for each exercise and arm mass was measured using an MRI.
Participants would perform overhead triceps extensions on one arm and triceps cable curls on the other arm. There would be a total of 5 sets of 10 repetitions of each exercise after a brief warm-up. Participants did this twice a week, on non-consecutive days, for 12 weeks. Each week, the weight increased for each exercise.
After 12 weeks, participants’ arm mass was measured again using an MRI. Everyone got stronger with both exercises, but Overhead triceps extensions generated 40% more muscle growth and size compared to triceps cable pushdown.
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According to the results, one possible explanation for the difference in muscle construction is that the long head of the triceps (triceps brachii) is more stretched during the overhead extension.
Another reason for the results is that decreased blood flow to the triceps during overhead extensions may have increased metabolic stress within the muscle and promoted hypertrophy.
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The arm contains several muscles, responsible for the movement of the shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand. Here are some of the main arm muscles:
- Biceps Brachii: This muscle is located on the front of the arm and is responsible for flexing the elbow and rotating the forearm.
- Triceps brachii: This muscle is located on the back of the arm and is responsible for extending the elbow.
- Brachialis: This muscle is located deep to the biceps brachii and is responsible for elbow flexion.
- Brachioradialis: This muscle is located in the forearm and is responsible for flexing the forearm at the elbow.
- Pronator Teres: This muscle is located in the forearm and is responsible for pronating the forearm (turning the palm downwards).
- Supinator: This muscle is located in the forearm and is responsible for supinating the forearm (turning the palm upward).
There are many other muscles in the arm, but these are some of the main muscles responsible for arm movement.
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There are many benefits to having stronger, bigger arms, including:
- Greater functional strength: Strong arms are essential for many daily activities, such as carrying groceries, lifting heavy objects, and performing household chores. Having strong arms can make these activities easier and reduce the risk of injury.
- Improved athletic performance: Many sports require strong arms, including weightlifting, boxing and baseball. Having bigger, stronger arms can improve performance in these activities and give athletes a competitive advantage.
- Improved overall physique: Strong, well-defined arms can improve overall physical appearance and body symmetry.
- Increased metabolic rate: Increasing muscle mass, including in the arms, can increase the body’s metabolic rate, helping you burn more calories and lose weight.
- Better bone density: Resistance training, such as lifting weights to increase arm strength, can help improve bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
- Greater confidence: Having stronger, larger arms can improve self-confidence and self-esteem, which can positively impact many areas of life, including personal relationships and professional success.
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Overall, having stronger, bigger arms can provide many physical, psychological and health benefits, as well as improving your overall quality of life.
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