Recently published research compared two favorite triceps exercises performed on a cable machine: overhead triceps extensions vs. cable pushups. And it turns out that one can build 40% more muscle than the other.
He investigation was made by Ritsumeikan University and the National Institute of Fitness and Sports in Kanoya. This is how the investigation was carried out.
Overhead Triceps Extensions vs. Cable Pushups: Which Builds More Muscle?
A total of 21 participants (14 men and 7 women aged around 23) were used for the research. Before the tests began, their one-repetition maximums for each exercise were tested and their arm mass was measured using an MRI.
Participants would perform overhead triceps extensions on one arm and Cable Triceps Pushdown in the other arm. There would be a total of 5 sets of 10 repetitions of each exercise after a short warm up. The participants did this twice a week, on non-consecutive days, for 12 weeks. Each week, the weight increased for each exercise.
After 12 weeks, the participants’ arm mass was again measured using an MRI. Everyone got stronger with both exercises, but Overhead triceps pushdowns generated 40% more muscle growth and size compared to the triceps cable pushdown..
Based on the outcome findings, one possible explanation for the difference in muscle development is that the long head of the triceps (triceps brachii) elongates more during the overhead extension.
Another reason for the findings is that decreased blood flow to the triceps during overhead extensions could have increased “metabolic stress within the muscle and promoted hypertrophy.”
How to do the overhead triceps extension on a cable machine
How to do the triceps pushdown on the cable machine
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The arm contains several muscles, which are responsible for movement of the shoulder, elbow, wrist, and hand. These are some of the main muscles of the arm:
- Biceps Brachii – This muscle is located at the front of the upper arm and is responsible for flexing the elbow and rotating the forearm.
- Triceps Brachii – This muscle is located at the back of the upper arm and is responsible for extending the elbow.
- Brachialis – This muscle lies deep to the biceps brachii and is responsible for flexing the elbow.
- 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 down).
- Supinator: This muscle is located in the forearm and is responsible for supinating the forearm (turning the palm of the hand up).
There are many other muscles in the arm, but these are some of the main ones responsible for arm movement.
There are many benefits to having bigger, stronger arms, including:
- Increased Functional Strength: Strong arms are essential for many daily activities, including carrying groceries, lifting heavy objects, and performing household tasks. Having strong arms can make these activities easier and reduce the risk of injury.
- Enhanced 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 edge.
- Improved Overall Physique: Strong, well-defined arms can improve overall physical appearance and body symmetry.
- Increased Metabolic Rate: Building muscle mass, including in the arms, can increase the body’s metabolic rate, helping you burn more calories and lose weight.
- Improved bone density: Resistance training, such as lifting weights to strengthen your arms, can help improve bone density and reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
- Increased Confidence: Having bigger, stronger arms can improve self-confidence and self-esteem, which can have a positive impact on many areas of life, including personal relationships and professional success.
Overall, having bigger, stronger arms can provide many physical, psychological and health benefits, and can improve overall quality of life.