Monday, September 08, 2008

Can Flexing Make Muscles Bigger

Sometimes bodybuilders get things right.

And despite what most fitness writers would have you beleive, this happens more often than you may think.

Through a history of trial and error and personal experimentation, this fringe group of people have come up with a pretty impressive track record of getting METHODS right.

Granted, they almost ALWAYS get the explanation of why these methods work incredibly wrong, but like I said, they do a great job of getting the 'what works' right.

When it comes to getting bigger muscles, we can learn some tricks from bodybuilders.

Take flexing for instance.

There is a considerable amount of research to show that isometric contractions (such as flexing a muscle) can increase the cross sectional area of your muscle when used over time.

(NOTE- Please don't take this as permission to be one of those people who flexes in the gym...that is still NOT COOL).

While naysayers for isometrics point to the fact that they only increase the STRENGTH of your muscle for a very narrow range of motion, this does not change the fact that they can increase the SIZE of your muscles.

I wouldn't recommend replacing your weight training with isometrics, but I do like the idea of adding in some isometrics to your routine. And don't be surprised if you find that they are hard work - any bodybuilder who has ever competed will tell you just how hard holding a pose on stage can be...

(If it worked for the Ulitmate Warrior...It can work for you!)

If you want to try using isometrics here's some quick tips:

  • After your workout try hitting a couple classic bodybuilder poses (front double biceps is a good one).
  • Practice flexing as hard as possible, while keeping excellent posture (NO SLOUCHING)
  • Hold the pose for 10 seconds, then rest and repeat.
  • Try to work up to multiple poses of 30 seconds.
  • Do this 2-3 times per week


*(Wernbom, Augustsson, Thomee. Sports Med 2007;37 (3): 225-264)


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1 comment:

sallyb said...

Flexing definitely makes muscles firm.