training falls into either:
Here the muscle contracts and shortens to give movement. Nearly all
training you will do will be isotonic.
Advantages of isotonic
tailor isotonic training to suit your particular sport
a muscle throughout its whole range of movement
gains aren't spread out as the muscle strengthens at its weakest point
of action not throughout.
- It can
lead to soreness due to the stress while lengthening
Here the muscle contracts but doesn't shorten so there is no movement.
Advantages of isometric
- You can
pretty much perform these anywhere
need no expensive equipment
- They are
quick and generally don't hurt
develop static strength which you need to push and pull heavy objects
exercise, the blood flow to the muscle stops and blood pressure rises
as less blood flows back to the heart - this is dangerous.
muscle gains are purely at the angle you use in the movement
Here the muscle contracts and shortens at constant speeds. An isotonic
contraction is different to isokinetic contractions because it is
slowest at the start. This type of training needs special equipment to
detect when a muscle is speeding up so it increases the load, slowing
gains are spread evenly over the whole range of movement
- It is
the fastest way to increase muscle strength
equipment can be very expensive thus not available to all
difference between concentric and eccentric contractions
contractions occur when a muscle shortens in length to develop tension.
Eccentric contractions include the development of tension while a
muscle is being lengthened.
Concentric contractions have been shown to activate more muscle fibres
in general however in the eccentric phase more fast twitch fibres are
recruited not slow twitch. These findings are very useful to power
athletes who want to train fast twitch fibres more so they would be
more favourable to eccentric moves.
One way of training this eccentric way would be using plyometrics.
These exercises like high powered jumps and hops would then train fast
twitch fibres specifically.
Interestingly, DOMS - delayed onset muscle soreness - which occurs
24-48 hours after exercises usually results from eccentric not
concentric contractions. This is due to the intracellular pressure
irritating nerve endings and causing swelling and pain. However, an
appropriate warm up and cool down will alleviate DOMS.
Carter who is a fully trained fitness and life coach. Visit
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