Electromyographic analysis of the triceps brachii muscle during a variety of triceps exercises
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A way to measure muscle activity is through electromyography (EMG) analysis. The purpose of this study was to determine, via EMG, which triceps exercise elicited the most muscle activation, and which could be defined as the most effective triceps exercise. Fifteen female college students (20-24 years old) volunteered and completed this study. On the first day of testing, a one-repetition max (1 RM) was determined for the following exercises: triceps kickbacks, overhead triceps extensions, bar pushdowns, rope pushdowns, closed grip bench press and lying barbell triceps extensions. Dips and triangle push-ups were excluded, as those exercises use body weight as resistance. During the second testing session, subjects performed two, 6-second isometric contractions to determine a maximal voluntary isometric contraction. Subjects performed one set of seven repetitions for each of the eight exercises. Subjects lifted 70% of their 1 RM. For the combined EMG values of the entire movement (average of the long head and lateral head), there was not a significant difference between the triangle push-up, kickbacks, and dips. Similarly, for both the long and lateral heads, there was not a significant difference between the triangle push-up, kickbacks, or dips. There was a significant difference (p < .05) between the long and lateral muscle activation during the rope pushdowns, bar pushdowns and lying barbell triceps extensions. This study concludes that triangle pushups were the best triceps exercise, although kickbacks and dips were equally effective in targeting the triceps brachii muscle.
Arm -- Muscles
Arm exercises -- Physiological aspects