Gym Lingo

August 30, 2010 at 10:35 am Leave a comment

Going to the gym can be overwhelming if you are not familiar with the gym lingo. I feel it is better to understand what you are doing and why you are doing it to achieve the most out of every workout. There are 3 standard contractions the muscle can perform when doing strengthening exercises. Once you understand these types of contractions you can begin to incorporate them into your routine for variety of training. This week we will learn about isometric contractions, the following two weeks we will learn about Concentric and Eccentric contractions.

Isometric Contraction – This type of contraction is where the muscle is activated to generate a force but the muscle tissue does not lengthen or shorten. This type of contraction is usually used after an injury or surgery. It is also used in everyday activities such as carrying a box in front of you. The weight of the box places a downward force on your muscles (primarily your biceps), but your arms are resisting the opposing force with an equal force in the opposite direction, upward. Since your arms are not moving up or down but staying at the same level, this is considered an isometric contraction.

For injuries or post surgery therapy this is the best contraction to begin with for recovery. This type of exercises strengthens the muscle without causing any further harm or injury to the joint. It creates a muscle contraction that also decrease swelling by allowing the muscles to pump out the fluid from the injured area. For instance if you sprained your ankle then you would begin with isometric exercises for the ankle, such as placing a pillow next to the wall and pushing the pillow into the wall, the calf muscle contracts but the muscle never lengthens or moves because the wall is your resisting force. This exercise can be performed for any muscle in the body.

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