Looking to switch things up and keep growing for your next workout? Resistance bands provide a unique form of resistance that puts considerable stress on muscle tissue, causing considerable gains in muscle mass and strength that is comparable to free weights. In addition, because the elastic resistance force is so fundamentally different from free-weight resistance, both approaches can be simultaneously used during your workout to create a combination of forces that place greater initial strain on the muscle while maintaining maximal strain on the musculature throughout the entire movement— generating remarkable gains in strength and size.14
Here are three reasons to add resistance bands to your training arsenal.
1. MORE MUSCLE IS ACTIVATED
Free weights and elastic resistance fundamentally differ because free weights provide constant resistance throughout the entire range of motion, while elastic bands provide greater resistance all the way through the movement. This occurs because the band is stretched throughout the movement, causing increased tension within the band that generates greater resistance as the range of motion increases. This form of dynamic resistance from elastic bands provides benefits over free weights that can be clearly demonstrated in exercises such as the bench press. Since greater muscular force occurs in the initial phase of the bench press, greater momentum is generated throughout the rest of the movement when using free weights. Once the weight has built up momentum in the initial phase, the muscle fibers do not need to be maximally activated to continue moving the weight throughout the rest of the movement, thus diminishing the training effect. However, the increase in resistance generated from elastic bands negates the production of momentum – disallowing the momentum-driven propulsion of the bar through the rest of the movement and creating a demand for greater muscle activity that ultimately stimulates greater muscle growth.
This effect from elastic resistance was clearly demonstrated in a study by Jalal et al.1 that showed a 15 percent increase in muscle activity during elastic resistance training when compared to free-weight training. Moreover, the comparison between elastic training and free-weight training also showed a considerably higher level of muscle activation in the later phases of the movement— supporting the idea that the ascending force from elastic bands diminished momentum, causing muscle activation throughout the entire concentric phase of the movement.
2. GREATER MUSCLE TENSION
Elastic resistance naturally produces a greater amount of tension on the muscle compared to free weights because, as previously stated, it has the capacity to minimize momentum— causing greater muscle activity throughout the entire movement, which effectively increases the amount of time the muscle is under tension. In addition, elastic bands also produce resistance independent of gravity, which fails to produce tension on the muscle during specific phases of certain lifts. For example, free-weight biceps curls produce very little muscle tension at the top of the concentric phase due to the prominent horizontal movement of the weight that no longer creates gravitational resistance. On the other hand, the precisely positioned use of elastic bands— that causes the elastic material to be stretched for the entire movement— places resistance on the biceps throughout the entire range of motion. The continuous tension from elastic resistance training should stimulate greater muscle growth, as it has been well documented2 that greater time under tension potently increases mechanical tension on the muscle cell. Increased mechanical tension on the muscle cell produces more muscle cell damage and/or increased metabolic stress, which powerfully enhances muscular size.
Clearly demonstrating the ability of elastic bands to build muscle, a study by Colado et al.3 found that elastic resistance is as effective if not better than free weights or resistance machines at increasing both lean body mass and strength.
3. MUSCLE DAMAGE PROMOTES MUSCLE GROWTH
Exercise-induced muscle damage stimulates many different cellular and molecular mechanisms that cause the muscle cell to grow and become more powerful.4 For example, muscle damage activates the inflammatory response – causing different immunological cells, such as the macrophage, to migrate to the damaged muscle tissue, consequently facilitating muscle cell repair and growth.5 Furthermore, exercise-induced muscle damage stimulates IGF-1 activation of the enzyme mTOR, which triggers muscle cell protein synthesis6, enhancing the hypertrophic response to resistance training.
A study by Aboodarda et al.10 showed that elastic resistance training induced a similar amount of muscle damage when compared to Nautilus machine resistance. While the underlying mechanism of these findings is unknown, a potential explanation for this result may have been uncovered in another study by Cronin et al.11, which demonstrated a considerable increase in muscle activity within the quadriceps muscle during the eccentric phase of leg extensions while using elastic resistance. Because the forced lengthening of the muscle cell that occurs during the eccentric phase creates the most extensive muscle damage12,13, this greater level of muscular contraction during the eccentric phase while using elastic bands most likely encourages considerable muscle damage. Interestingly, this greater level of muscle activity during the eccentric phase of the leg extension may be due to the enormous recoil force generated from the fully stretched elastic band that occurs right at the beginning of the eccentric phase
- Jalal FY, et al. Resultant muscle torque and electromyographic activity during high intensity elastic resistance and free weight exercises. EJSS 2013;13(2): p. 155-163.
- Pinto RS, et al. Effect of range of motion on muscle strength and thickness. J Strength Cond Res 2012;26(8): p. 2140-5.
- Colado JC and Triplett NT. Effects of a short-term resistance program using elastic bands versus weight machines for sedentary middle-aged women. J Strength Cond Res 2008;22(5): p. 1441-8.
- Schoenfeld, B.J. Does exercise-induced muscle damage play a role in skeletal muscle hypertrophy? J Strength Cond Res 2012;26(5): p. 1441-53.
- McGinley C, Shafat A, and Donnelly AE. Does antioxidant vitamin supplementation protect against muscle damage? Sports Med 2009;39(12): p. 1011-32.
- Guillet C, et al. Impaired anabolic response of muscle protein synthesis is associated with S6K1 dysregulation in elderly humans. Faseb J 2004;18(13): p. 1586-7.
- Clarkson PM and Hubal MJ. Exercise-induced muscle damage in humans. Am J Phys Med Rehabil, 2002;81(11 Suppl): p. S52-69.
- Linnamo V, et al. Neuromuscular responses to explosive and heavy resistance loading. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 2000;10(6): p. 417-24.
- Newham DJ, et al. Ultrastructural changes after concentric and eccentric contractions of human muscle. J Neurol Sci 1983;61(1): p. 109-22.
- Aboodarda SJ, et al. Muscle strength and damage following two modes of variable resistance training. J Sports Sci Med, 2011;10: p. 635-642.
- Cronin J, McNair PJ and Marshall RN. The effects of bungy weight training on muscle function and functional performance. J Sports Sci 2003;21(1): p. 59-71.
- Clarkson PM, et al. Muscle soreness and serum creatine kinase activity following isometric, eccentric, and concentric exercise. Int J Sports Med 1986;7(3): p. 152-5.
- Gibala MJ, et al. Myofibrillar disruption following acute concentric and eccentric resistance exercise in strength-trained men. Can J Physiol Pharmacol 2000;78(8): p. 656-61.
- Anderson CE, Sforzo GA and Sigg. The effects of combining elastic and free weight resistance on strength and power in JA athletes. J Strength Cond Res 2008;22(2): p. 567-74.
The post 3 Ways To Build Muscle With Resistance Bands appeared first on FitnessRX for Men.
By: Michael J. Rudolph, Ph.D.
Title: 3 Ways To Build Muscle With Resistance Bands
Sourced From: www.fitnessrxformen.com/training/3-ways-to-build-muscles-with-resistance-bands-copy/
Published Date: Mon, 19 Oct 2020 19:13:19 +0000
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Ripped Leg Blast for Carved Thighs
Powerful and thick thighs require gut-busting exercises like squats and leg presses. However, once you have acquired adequate thigh mass and strength, you should consider adding some balance and sharpness to the muscle bellies in your thighs. Although tough to accomplish, leg extensions provide a great way to carve the separations between the muscle bellies, and to accentuate the “teardrop” shape of the four quadriceps muscles of the anterior thigh.
Active Muscles in Leg Extensions
The three vasti muscles comprise most of the anterior thigh.1 The vastus medialis covers the medial (inner) part of the femur bone (thigh bone). When it is well developed, it forms a teardrop-like shape over the medial side of the knee joint. The vastus lateralis muscle attaches to the lateral (outer) part of the femur bone. The vastus intermedius connects to the femur bone between the vastus lateralis and the vastus medialis muscles. The fibers of all three vasti muscles come together at the quadriceps tendon, which crosses the patella (kneecap) to attach to the tibia bone just below the knee.1
Together, the three vasti muscles extend the leg at the knee joint, although the vastus intermedius may be more fatigue resistant than the vastus lateralis.2 The vastus medialis oblique (VMO), which is a small part of the vastus medialis muscle, attaches to the medial part of the patella. It is thought to help the patella track properly during movement of the knee. Improper tracking can increase the likelihood for knee injury.
The vastus medialis and especially the VMO part of this muscle are primarily responsible for tibial rotation (rotation of the tibia bone of the lower leg on the femur) during knee extension. This rotation or “twist” has been shown to increase the activation of the VMO portion of the vastus lateralis even more than doing knee extensions with the hip adducted (thigh rotated so that the medial portion of the knee is facing mostly upwards).3 Dorsiflexion of the foot (moving the ankles so the toes are pointing towards your head) also increases the activation of the VMO by more than 20 percent.4 Likely this is because the dorsiflexor muscles stabilize the tibia during knee flexion and resist rotation of the tibia on the femur as the knee straightens.
The fourth muscle of the quadriceps group is the rectus femoris muscle. It attaches to the anterior part of the hip bone just above the hip joint.1 The largest bulk of the muscle fibers are located on the upper three-quarters of the thigh, whereas the largest belly of the vastus medialis and vastus lateralis are more inferior (i.e., closer to the knee). The distal end of the rectus femoris muscle becomes tendinous and it creates a deep valley between the lateral and medial vastus muscles as it approaches the knee.1 It assists the other quadriceps muscles by extending the leg at the knee joint, although it is less effective when the hip is flexed than if it is straight.
The three vastus muscles of the anterior thigh are strongly activated by single-leg knee extensions. The rectus femoris is not activated as strongly, but it does undergo some overload when the anterior thigh is under contractile effort, about halfway up to the top of each repetition.
1. You should always warm up your knees with some stationary cycling prior to getting into leg extensions. Furthermore, the resistance on your first set should be fairly light to allow the joint to fully warm up before you get to the heavier stuff.
2. Adjust the knee extension machine so that the pivot point of the lifting arm is directly adjacent to the center of the side of your knee joint.
3. Position the ankle roller/leg pad over the lower part of the leg (above the ankle joint).
4. Take about three seconds to slowly extend (straighten) both leg so that the weight is lifted upward from the stack.
5. Continue upwards until the tibia and the femur bones form a straight line and the knee angle is straight. Hold this for two seconds at the top.
6. Slowly lower the weight (about four seconds down) towards the starting position. Once the knee has reached 90 degrees, start the upwards extension phase again. Continue for 12-15 repetitions for the first set. Lower the number of repetitions but increase the resistance for subsequent sets.
7. On the next sets, lift the weight upwards until the knee joint becomes almost straight, but just slightly short of a total knee lockout. Be careful that you do not “jam” the knee joint into a fully locked out position, because this could cause knee cartilage damage5, especially with heavy weights. Hold the top position for a count of three before lowering the weight.
8. Lower the weight slowly (four to five seconds) towards the starting position where your knee is flexed to 90 degrees. Just before the weight stack contacts the remaining plates at the bottom, start lifting it upward for the next repetition.
The downward movement should be slower than the upward phase because you are resisting the pull of gravity. The slow lowering of the weight stretches the muscle under a resistance and this is a great stimulus to improve muscle shape and size.6
Make sure that you do not hold your breath during the lift upwards.7 Rather take a breath at the bottom (start) of the lift, and exhale as you extend the knees/legs. Take another breath at the top and slowly exhale as the weight is lowered. Take another breath at the bottom and repeat the sequence.
This is a mechanically simply exercise, but it really can be very challenging and blood depriving8,9, especially if you try to control the weight as it is moving up and down. However, if you are willing to work through some discomfort, you will be soon enjoying your new shape and slabs of carved thighs.
1. Moore K.L. Clinically Orientated Anatomy. Third Edition. Williams & Willkins, Baltimore, 1995; pp 373-500.
2. Watanabe K, Akima H. Neuromuscular activation of vastus intermedius muscle during fatiguing exercise. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 2010;20:661-666.
3. Stoutenberg M, Pluchino AP, Ma F et al. The impact of foot position on electromyographical activity of the superficial quadriceps muscles during leg extension. J Strength Cond Res 2005;19:931-938.
4. Coburn JW, Housh TJ, Cramer JT et al. Mechanomyographic and electromyographic responses of the vastus medialis muscle during isometric and concentric muscle actions. J Strength Cond Res 2005; 19:412-420.
5. Senter C, Hame SL. Biomechanical analysis of tibial torque and knee flexion angle: implications for understanding knee injury. Sports Med 2006;36:635-641.
6. Alway SE, Winchester PK, Davis ME et al. Regionalized adaptations and muscle fiber proliferation in stretch- induced enlargement. J Appl Physiol 1989;66:771-781.
7. Garber CE, Blissmer B, Deschenes MR et al. American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Quantity and quality of exercise for developing and maintaining cardiorespiratory, musculoskeletal, and neuromotor fitness in apparently healthy adults: guidance for prescribing exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc 2011;43:1334-1359.
8. Denis R, Bringard A, Perrey S. Vastus lateralis oxygenation dynamics during maximal fatiguing concentric and eccentric isokinetic muscle actions. J Electromyogr Kinesiol 2011;21:276-282.
9. Ueda C, Kagaya A. Muscle reoxygenation difference between superficial and deep regions of the muscles during static knee extension. Adv Exp Med Biol 2010;662:329-334.
The post Ripped Leg Blast for Carved Thighs appeared first on FitnessRX for Men.
By: Stephen E. Alway, Ph.D., FACSM
Title: Ripped Leg Blast for Carved Thighs
Sourced From: www.fitnessrxformen.com/training/ripped-leg-blast-for-carved-thighs/
Published Date: Mon, 25 Jul 2022 19:11:16 +0000
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The post PRIMAL Preworkout appeared first on FitnessRX for Men.
By: Team FitRx
Title: PRIMAL Preworkout
Sourced From: www.fitnessrxformen.com/nutrition/supplements/preworkout/primal-preworkout/
Published Date: Thu, 21 Jul 2022 16:51:41 +0000
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