Muscles are designed to allow movement. However, we tend to train only muscles and not movement. Think of a variable resistance machine, whereby you’re affixed in a particular position, training a specific muscle group. Although muscle isolation is valuable and is used in this training repertoire, it shouldn’t be the only type of training that should be, performed. Why? Because movement is equally, if not more important, in the functional development of the human body. If our only purpose was to sit and flex our biceps, training would be simple and designing training programs would be even less, complex. However, we move-we’re designed for that and within our wonderful, bodies lies such laws, as Newton’s third law, which states “ for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.” This can be observed as muscles contract both concentrically and eccentrically, simultaneously to oppose an existing force. They oftentimes contract, isometrically on that same force. Simply stated, lifting a barbell requires positive forces to push the weight upwards, negative forces from antagonist muscles (opposing muscles) to stabilize the weight, through fluid movement and/or lowering the weight or when we reach a “sticking point” and the weight is momentarily, stationary (isometric contraction.)
Let’s not get too caught up in terminology, however. Instead, let’s look at why variation in all phases of contraction will allow for enhanced neuro-muscular facilitation and greater size, strength, speed and power gains!
Now in turn, let’s discuss new crazes in fitness, shall we? Life has a funny way of reverting back upon itself. Let me rephrase this- fitness is very cyclical! Trainers and individuals are now incorporating fitness regimens that have literally been in existence for thousands of years. Better yet, Trainers are becoming certified in these fields as if they’re the holy grail of weight loss, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, body compostion and/or athletic performance. I urge you as a reader and fitness enthusiast to delve into this topic, more deeply. We have had certain dance concepts, an interplay of sport-related movements, various muscular contraction, isolation exercise and accompanying equipment (for a fee, from these companies,) of course. Yet, the core of existence as it pertains to getting into great shape and remaining in great shape is simplicity and consistency! So for this, we should recognize that our bodies move due to our muscles and by making subtle alterations in our workouts as well as our diets, we will see tremendous improvements in the fitness areas, aforementioned.
As you may observe, all movement requires muscular facilitation. More appropriately, neuro-muscular facilitation; (Nerves, innervating muscles for a particular movement pattern, to occur.) This is why we must train our muscles, but train the movement associated with these muscles!