The simplest way to construct leg muscle strength is through short, sharp contractions, according to research published in the Journal of Applied Physiology.
The research study, of 43 healthy guys in their 20s who had refrained from doing any previous lower body strength training, found that explosive contractions were the least energy-intensive way of increasing strength and functional capacity of the muscles.
Standard continual contractions, which need more effort, are more reliable at increasing muscle size however not strength.
Dr Jonathan Folland, who led the study, said: The easiest method making muscles more powerful has actually been disputed by fitness and sports professionals for several years, but this research study shows that it doesn’t need to imply lots of pain for any gain.
Whereas conventional strength training is made up of slow, grinding contractions utilizing heavy weights which is rather effort, this study shows that brief, sharp contractions are relatively simple to carry out and a really advantageous way of building up strength.
These brief, explosive contractions might also be useful to older people and patient groups such as those with osteoarthritis, who would benefit from getting more powerful, but are reluctant to undergo tiring sustained contractions.
One did short, explosive leg extensions lasting less than a 2nd, another did sustain or slower contractions lasting 3 seconds. The 3rd group was a control group.
The medical challenge is that clients with muscle weak point are not always trying to find huge muscles. Rather they want to enhance movement and quality of life and lower tiredness. For that reason, standard ways of increasing strength, such as with rowing makers or leg extensions versus fixed weights, may not be perfect, especially if these regimes are of prolonged period.
Strength exists in two different ways: the size and power of the muscle, but also how much of the muscle fiber we have recruited to do the work. When we use our muscles, we do not use all of the muscle fibers all the time the amount differs.
The research study revealed that explosive muscular contraction increased muscle recruitment and also strength to a comparable degree as sustained muscular contractions. The explosive exercise group had a greater increase in the quantity of muscle recruitment; maximum strength was 70 per cent of that of the sustained contraction group. The explosive workouts only took 7 per cent of the time to complete.
This helps to discuss what we already know that a martial artist who doesn’t weight-train, isn’t muscularly big, can still provide a powerful blow. (In this case muscle recruitment is likely to be significantly higher due to explosive- style training.).
Exactly what this provides in clinical practicality, is that low-impact, reasonably high-intensity exercise regimes could be established to help clients who do not follow standard strength schedules very well those who tiredness easily, experience pain or have low muscle bulk.
This will help patients improve their quality of life without the requirement of high-cost interventions or the gym. It might be that short and sharp contraction, as part of a back-garden gym regimen, may be a good start for an elderly person for example, short punches with light dumbbells for 10 to 20 seconds.
It’s not groundbreaking research, however it is common sense work, simply done, with a basic point.