Friday, February 24, 2012

Congruent Exercise - Wisdom from Bill DeSimone 3

Ok the next instalment of my thoughts on Bill's book.  (The series started here)

Summary of Chapter 2.  "Full Range of Motion" : Biomechanics or Buzzword

Fibre recruitment is not based on range of motion.  Rather fibre recruitment is proportional to the load and/or the speed .  It is not related to the joint angle! Thinking about how muscles contract, they are weaker at the extremes of the motion where there is either active or passive insufficiency.  It it through the middle of a muscle's contraction that it is strongest. 

We need to train the strongest range of the muscle, which will also mean avoiding lockout where the muscle is under no stress - there is zero lever and the bones take the strain.

We look to work the biomechanically strongest range, the joint angle for peak muscle torque;  we want to match the muscle's strongest postion with the most challenging part of the exercise, usually the sticking point or position of maximum moment arm, where the weight is at the further horizontal distance from the joint.

We also look to eliminate the lockout position and the end ranges of the muscle where there are either active or passive insufficiencies.

In addition, we need to avoid movements which create or pass through joint obstructions - that will only promote excess wear and tear and strain.

We should not seek a full range of motion but a full safe and appropriate range of motion!
So pick moves where the muscles are strongest at the point when the motion is hardest!


Quote from Bill

"Full range of motion", while a well-intentioned piece of instruction, was really a product of its time.  In the context of bodybuilders doing short pumping motions, and piling on weight for partial lockout reps it was a step in the right direction  But once it got taken out fo context, it went too far in unproductive ways and created a need for more precise instruction.  

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