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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Static Contraction Training


A really time efficient and worthwhile type of exercise to add to your arsenal is static contraction training.  Along with visualized resistance, which we have spoken of before, or with either weight training or, in my opinion the better option of bodyweight exercise, static contractions can increase your strength fast, conveniently, and effectively.

Although you will read elsewhere about using various apparatus to immobilize the muscle, all you really need to do is...use one limb to immobilize the other.  
That is what I am doing here.

Start (in this case a biceps curl), and when you get half-way up, keep pressing against the other arm, but resist strongly... and keep resisting while trying to curl upwards for several seconds.  

Simple, yet very effective.  

You can do this type of exercise for most of your body's muscular structures- military presses and lateral raises self-resisted, wrist curls are very effective for strengthening your wrists to prevent carpal tunnel syndrom, neck exercises self-resisted with your hands against your head...

The list goes on and on!

The point to remember is to resist strongly at one point in the movement, and to keep trying to move past the resistance strongly. And, don't always stop "half-way"- sometimes stop 1/4 or the way, sometimes 2/3- this takes the static strengthening effect into all the ranges of movement.

I like to do 1/3 one day, 1/2 the next, and 3/4 the next...

And, the real takeaway here is this: 

This style of training produces real-world, functional strength!

It strengthens not just the muscles, but the tendons and ligaments, making your joints more stable, not less, and preventing injury, not causing it, as is often the case when using weights or machines.  

And, you can do it anywhere, and you don't have to change clothes or drive to a gym to do it!

I will do a podcast on exercise soon- stay tuned!

J