Anthony J Sargeant examined the question: Are human arm muscles less efficient than leg muscles?

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Reported differences in the power output and efficiency of arm work compared to leg work are an artefact. Typical arm work research actually study arm work plus a contribution from upper body muscles. When the upper body contribution is eliminated by restraining movement so that arm cranking is only performed by arm muscles the efficiencies and power are not significantly different to leg work.

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