Gentil P et al.
Asian J Sports Med. 2015;6(1):e240574
groups. However, since there was not a group that per-
formed only SJ exercises, the question remains whether
an RT program with only SJ exercise would be as eﬃcient
as a program involving only MJ exercises.
We did not ﬁnd studies comparing muscle hypertro-
phy responses between SJ and MJ exercises. One of the
few studies to compare the chronic eﬀects of MJ and SJ
exercises on muscle performance was the study of Gi-
annakopoulos et al. (7) that analyzed the eﬀects of two
training modes on shoulder cuﬀ muscular performance.
The participants of the study were divided into 3 groups:
one group performed SJ exercises (internal and external
shoulder rotation using 2 kg dumbbells); one trained
with MJ exercises (lat. pull down, overhead press, reverse
pull up and push-up exercises); and the other had no
training. According to the results, the group that trained
with MJ exercises achieved greater increases in internal
and external rotation peak torque than the groups that
trained with SJ exercises.
Comparison between our study and the study of Gi-
annakopoulos et al. (7) are limited due to methodologi-
cal diﬀerences, and the diﬀerence between the results is
probably due to the diﬀerences in training volume and
intensity between protocols. In the study of Giannako-
poulos et al. (7) the SJ group performed a lower number of
sets compared to the MJ group. Additionally, the SJ group
trained at a constant load, with no load progression,
which may have limited the results. In the present study
the SJ and MJ groups performed an equal number of sets
of progressive resistance training and both trained with
The results of the present study on muscle hypertro-
phy are unique and important for practical purposes.
Increase or maintaining muscle mass is an important
goal for health, ﬁtness and performance. It has been
shown that muscle hypertrophy is dependent on the me-
chanical tension, muscle damage and metabolic stress
produced by the strength exercise (18, 19). Thus, accord-
ing to the results of the present study we may presume
that muscle strain and muscle damage caused by the MJ
and SJ exercise for the EF muscles was somewhat similar.
However, one of the limitations of the present study was
that the mechanisms involved in muscle hypertrophy
between MJ and SJ exercise were not evaluated. Further-
more, the ﬁnding that MJ exercises are as eﬃcient as SJ in
muscle hypertrophy and strength may be valuable when
designing an RT program. In order to save time, strength
and conditioning, specialists can choose exercises that
target a higher number of muscle groups at a time. This
strategy can increase training volume and reduce the
time commitment, which, in turn, may improve exercise
adherence since lack of time is the most cited barrier for
an individual engaging in any exercise program (20-23).
The results of the present study shows that MJ and SJ
exercises are equally eﬀective for promoting increases
in muscle strength and size in untrained men, conﬁrm-
ing our hypothesis. It is well established that muscles in-
terpret environmental stimuli through mechanical and
metabolic changes (18, 19, 24-26) and it seems that these
responses will not diﬀer if the movement is performed
alone (biceps curl, which involves only elbow ﬂexion) or
accompanied by the movement of another joints (lat.
pull down, which involves elbow ﬂexion and shoulder ex-
tension). Based on the present results, it can be suggested
that the selection between SJ and MJ exercises should be
based on individual and practical aspects, such as equip-
ment availability, individual preferences, movement
speciﬁcity, time commitment etc. Further studies are
required to test if the results will be the same in trained
people and other muscle groups.
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