VeeFitness

Bringing you the latest in health and fitness


Leave a comment

Static King


One of the best ways to improve your strength is by moving nothing at all.

If your goal is strength, putting a zero-movement strategy into your repertoire could be exactly what you need.

By way a review, a static contraction, also known as an isometric, is one which the muscular force equals the external resistance, producing no movement whatsoever. For example, you loaded up the barbell on the bench press with much more than your 1RM (one rep max) and began pressing against it with all your might, you would have a static contraction. Even if the bar didn’t budge, despite the lack of movement a ton of muscular activity would be going on inside the muscle.

Research confirms you can produce more force and strength statically than you can during positive contractions. How can this benefit you in terms of strength? You need to look no further than your nearest sticking point. A static-training plan can help you blast past those sticking points that usually act as roadblocks. The good news is that you can apply the technique to just about any exercise from the squats to overhead press even to bicep curls. Be warned, though: it is more difficult than it looks. Applying continual maximal effort without movement is brutal and effective.

Be Specific
One key factor to keep in mind is that, although strength increases are associated with static training, they are angle specific. When you train statically at a particular angle, you gain strength and size only at that angle. Take for instance the overhead press. If you worked statically at one particular point along the path of the ROM, you would gain strength there and nowhere else. The gain in strength is not necessarily distributed along the entire range of motion. For this reason, you need to apply static training at various places.

The Weak Link
So where do you start? Go straight to the weakest point of your range of motion, which is near the bottom of most exercises. If you are working on the bench press, set the safety bars to the sticking point and load up the bar. Forget about it being your “weakest point” and be sure to load more weight than you could normally move so that you are certain to have absolutely no movement. If you are working out at peak gym hours or you do not feel comfortable putting that much weight on the bar, you can work with and empty bar, but from underneath the safeties. Simply press the bar up into the safeties as hard as possible.

A couple of items to note: On your pressing movements be very careful not al allow your hands to slip. Using chalk during static training is a good idea, because if your hands slip, your wrists can sustain severe injury, second, for the pulling movements throw on some pulling straps to make sure your pulls are not hindered by your grip strength. If you do not wear straps, use chalk instead.

Adding a static day a couple of times a month into your routine across all bodyparts will help trigger serious strength gains. The better able you are to blast through sticking points, the more weight you will ultimately move during standard weight training sessions.


Leave a comment

Squat Tips


SquatsHere are some tips to ensure you have the correct technique when doing squats.

1) Find Your Footing:
Positioning your feet wide, like a sumo squat, will target the glutes and inner quads. A narrow stance will focus on the outer area of the legs and develop more quad sweep.
2) Head In The Game:
Never look down, because glancing downward will flex your cervical spine and put pressure on the disks in your neck.
3) Watch Your Weight:
Do not trade form for weight. A bunch of plates jammed onto the bar might boost your ego, but it will not improve your legs. Go lighter and perfect the mechanics until your form is perfect.
4) How Low Should You Go:
Descend until you upper legs are parallel to the ground. Stopping short of that position can detract from full upper-leg development.
5) Ramp up the Reps:
Consistency with reps could short-change growth. The majority should fall into the 8-12 rep range. The legs respond well to higher reps, but don’t hesitate to ramp it up to 15 reps if you feel inclined.
6) Rest Remix:
Two to three minutes rest between sets should be plenty of time to recover. Just as you do with reps, mix it up. Shorter rest periods of a minute or 30 seconds will exhaust the muscle, allow for a larger build up of lactic acid and cause the body to release more growth hormone.
7) Wrap It Up:
In the past, it was widely believed that knee wraps prohibited muscle activity, because of the reliance on the wraps’ elasticity. A Study conducted by a University in Georgia, shows that wraps do not interfere with muscle growth and may even allow you to go heavier.
8) Belt It Out:
Use a weight belt when squatting up to or exceeding 80% of your one-rep max. An added benefit of a belt is it can further increase pressure in the abdominal cavity for better stabilisation of the spine.
9) Knees and Toes:
You’ve heard it all before. Extending your knees over your toes will cause injury. Not necessarily. A new study shows that trying to prevent this actually placed more stress on the lower back, and that the knees experienced less stress when they did extend past the toes.
10) Partial Squats:
Develop bigger teardrop muscles by performing only the upper half of the movement with heavier weight, as this is when the muscle receives most of the stress. Do two or three sets of these before moving onto full squats.