Muscle is a magical tissue providing the means for our every day movement. In this article I will uncover it’s magical workings for you and how these impact on your training!
Myosin are microscopic hair like tendrils that act like a hand taking hold of a ladder rung and pulling one up. Except imagine an uncountable number of these working together. They are why muscle can contract along it’s length.
Let’s have a look at the important phases of muscular contraction and the role these phases play when one exercises.
The 3 Phases of Muscular Contraction:
- Concentric Lifting Phase (Weakest) – When a muscle group is shortening under tension.
- Isometric Phase (Second Strongest) – When a muscle group isn’t shortening or lengthening and is under tension.
- Eccentric Lowering Phase (Strongest) – The muscle is lengthening and under tension.
Why Is Muscle Movement Important?
- Strength in Weakness – One is less likely to over shoot when using the concentric phase to calibrate the appropriate working resistance / weight. Obviously the other two phases will handle the weight slightly better, which means they will fatigue at a slower pace.
- Form Control – There are three degrees of failure in training form; when one cannot perform the concentric phase. When one cannot hold the isometric portions of the movement and when lowering the weight with control is not doable.
- Growth and Overload – This tissue grows mainly by being mechanically loaded and to a lesser degree by being damaged by metabolic aspects of training. Handling more volume over a period of time is the key sustained strength and lean muscle gains.
Volume = Weight x Repetitions x Sets
A little understanding can go a long way when it comes to squeezing the most out of your training. So next time you exercise, take the time to marvel at the magical experience of movement.
Tyrone Wessels is a marketing graduate, a power yoga instructor at Yoga Renew and a qualified personal trainer.