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Resistance Training Is Not Always the Same

By Tom Herrin

When people think about any kind of activity that helps them to improve their health, it is likely that the first thing that comes to mind is some kind of robust exercise.  Running, swimming, riding a bike, or many other activities can be a great way to start on a program that builds better health. Resistance training usually brings to mind something such as weightlifting.  That is not the only way to accomplish the task. Isometrics is a form of resistance training that was pretty popular some years ago but has waned in more recent times. However, it has made a slight resurgence in the past few years and can serve some very specific purposes.  

It May Increase Muscle Recruitment

Most of the time, when people do anything that taxes their muscles, they are not fully utilizing all of the muscles available.  Isometrics have a higher success rate of what is referred to as recruitment. In other words, a higher percentage of the available muscles may be used when performing work than in other kinds of activities.  It is believed that up to 95 percent of the muscles may be used.

It May Strengthen Muscles

Apparently, the longer that the muscles remain tense, the lower the blood flow is.  When this happens, the muscles grow. Having more muscle contractions and holding them for longer is known to make them larger.  With isometrics, people are able to do this while working on a few specific areas at a time. Since they don’t have to move significantly, the idea of a workout changes quite a bit.  It seems that doing them can increase muscle strength by 5 percent per week and continue to progress for several weeks.

It May Make Development Easier

Many times, when people are involved in something such as weightlifting, they may have problems with developing certain muscles because there are certain parts of the muscles that become weak points.  Isometrics can help to concentrate on certain muscles. It is thought that while doing isometrics, muscles as much as 20 degrees either side of the place being worked will receive benefits and be developed.  Since they can be done anywhere with no equipment, you can begin today and see results in no time. I have done them in the past and been really pleased with the outcome.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Bluffton, S.C.


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