New study suggests overhead triceps extensions build more muscle than pushups

Along with serving to you progress the load on the bench press Y army pressits triceps they make up about two-thirds of the mass within the higher arm. And if you wish to begin pushing the boundaries of your shirt sleeves, triceps coaching is important.

If measurement is the prize you are on the lookout for, a brand new examine revealed within the European Journal of Sport Sciences on July 12, 2022 (1), means that you could wish to go for overhead triceps extensions cable nudges to maximise your development.

A shirtless bodybuilder performing an overhead triceps extension.
Ajan Alen/Shutterstock

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Overhead Triceps Extensions vs. Curls for Muscle Development

The examine was carried out by researchers from Ritsumeikan College and the Japan Nationwide Institute of Health and Sports activities. It included 21 members, 14 males and 7 girls aged round 23 years, who carried out overhead extensions and triceps curls on separate arms utilizing a cable machine. Members carried out every train for 5 units of 10 repetitions after a brief warm-up and took part in these exercises twice per week on non-consecutive days for 12 weeks. Every week, the load elevated for every train.

To correctly evaluate the outcomes, the members had their examined one rep max for every train and their arm mass measured by MRI at first and finish of the examine. As soon as the 12 weeks had been up, the researchers discovered that the members received stronger on every train, however that there was a few 1.4-fold (or 40%) enhance in triceps development in arms that prolonged overhead in comparison with pushdowns. This was even though greater extensions usually meant lighter weight.

What the examine says

In keeping with the researchers, one doable motive for the Elevated muscle mass is that the lengthy head of the triceps (the triceps brachii) lengthens extra throughout overhead extension. Which means the members noticed extra stress extensions regardless of utilizing a lighter weight throughout the train.

A higher vary of movement shouldn’t be the one doable clarification for the elevated mass. The researchers wrote that the lower in blood circulation to the triceps throughout overhead extension may have “elevated metabolic stress inside the muscle and promoted hypertrophy.”

[Related: 3 Triceps Training Rules For Every Workout]

In brief, it’s not completely clear why there was extra development.

It is vital to notice that this small examine discovered that overhead extensions helped promote muscle development in comparison with pushdowns, not that overhead extensions had been the very best train for triceps general . Y there is no such thing as a proof to counsel that normal extensions Y Triceps curls can’t be a part of your routine. (Do not forget that each actions elevated power equally within the members.)

How one can do the overhead triceps extension

To ensure you’re performing the overhead triceps extension accurately, comply with these directions:

  • The 1st step: Connect a rope attachment to the low place of a cable pulley machine.
  • Second step: Choose a cushty weight, seize the rope and switch your physique so you aren’t going through the machine. Take a few steps ahead so the cable is taut.
  • Step three: Your elbows ought to now be bent and your fingers needs to be behind your head. Your elbows also needs to be going through ahead and up.
  • Step 4: Let your fingers go down with management. As soon as you’re feeling a stretch in your triceps, totally lengthen your elbows by bringing your fingers up and over your head. Then slowly decrease your fingers behind your head once more and repeat. Hold your elbows in the identical place all through the motion.

Take a look at our full information on find out how to do overhead triceps extensions.

Extra triceps coaching content material

For extra info on find out how to train your triceps, try these different articles from Bar Bend:


  1. Maeo, Sumiaki and Wu, Yuhang and Huang, Meng and Sakurai, Hikaru and Kusagawa, Yuki and Sugiyama, Takashi and Kanehisa, Hiroaki and Isaka, Tadao. (2022). Triceps brachii hypertrophy is considerably higher after elbow extension coaching carried out within the arms overhead versus impartial place. European Journal of Sport Sciences. 1-26. 10.1080/17461391.2022.2100279.

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