Archive for the ‘Training’ Category

Don’t Move a Muscle…

July 26, 2017

Don’t Move a Muscle!

During this phase of our T3 training program our T3 clients have “enjoyed” one session per week of Isometric Exercises.

We have gotten some good feedback on the Isometric sessions so I thought I would share with you what Isometric training is and why it can be an important part of your training program,

What is Isometric Training?

Every muscle in your body contracts several different ways.  One way for our muscles to contract is concentrically.  A concentrically contracting muscle is being shortened.  Think of curling a dumbbell up to your shoulder, you are shortening the bicep muscle group when you are concentrically lifting/curling the dumbbell.

Another way for our muscles to contract is eccentrically.  This is when our muscles are contracting and lengthening at the same time.  Think about that same dumbbell bicep curl that I mentioned and now lower it until your arm is straight.  You are contracting and lengthening the bicep muscle group as you are lowering the dumbbell.

A third way for your muscles to contract is isometrically.  This type of contraction happens without the muscle(s) changing length.  The muscles are static in a particular position.   A few good examples of isometric exercises when done correctly are:

Hardstyle Planks

Split Squat Holds

Squat Holds

Chin Up/Pull Up Holds

Push Up Position Holds

Band Pull Apart Holds

Farmers or Suitcase Kettlebell Holds

The term “holds” is a dead giveaway for an isometric exercise.

What makes Isometric training beneficial?

One of the main benefits of Isometric training is activation.

The body is able to activate nearly all available motor units in the muscle or muscle groups which is difficult to do with the other two types of contractions.

If you have ever held an isometric contraction for 6-10 seconds, you will know exactly what I mean by “able to activate nearly all available motor units in the muscle or muscle groups”.  Creating as much muscular tension as possible will activate more motor units and therefore help you to become stronger.

Back in the 1950s, researchers Hettinger and Muller found a single daily effort of two-thirds of a person’s maximum effort exerted for six seconds at a time for ten weeks increased strength about 5% per week, while Clark and associates demonstrated static strength continued to increase even after the conclusion of a five-week program of isometric exercises.

Another benefit of Isometric Training is if you have an injury or a “sticking point”, (think midway through the push up when your lower back begins to sag) you can train in that particular joint range risk free while improving strength.

Isometric training is used widely in physical therapy settings to retrain the muscle(s) to activate.

Isometric training is another way to help you get stronger.  At Pinnacle we are always looking for ways to make you stronger, more resilient and help you reach your goals more quickly.  At Pinnacle we are always looking for ways to make you stronger, more resilient and help you reach your goals more quickly.

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