Static contraction training focuses on a way of developing the most muscle mass and strength through the smallest amount of motion and time in the gym. Several studies and athletes have discovered positive results through literally using a static, zero range of motion exercise plan.
Defining Static Contraction
Static, another way of saying motionless or still, seems like an odd term to use when describing exercise. However, static contractions involve muscles exerting movement without the joints and ligaments moving far. Think of bench pressing heavy weight only a few inches off of the chest rather than extending all the way up into a locking position.
Muscles still contract even though the range of motion gets reduced exponentially. Research and multiple studies have shown that athletes increased both muscle strength and endurance through static contraction training. Multiple online resources along with printed documents provide accurate and thorough cases proving that the science behind static contraction training works.
Static Contraction Comparison
In normal full range of motion exercises, muscles either fully lengthen in eccentric contractions, or shorten through concentric contraction. Unlike these two types of contractions, the static variation uses limited motion in order to keep muscle fiber in a constant state of twitching movement.
After holding a heavy weight in a fixed position for a duration of time, the muscles begin to shake or wobble. This effect happens because the muscles constantly face a sense of strain and contraction in all directions, rather than moving straight up and down. This phenomenon helps muscles grow in size and density.
Examples of Static Contraction Exercises
Any normal exercise becomes part of a static contraction training regimen by simply adding more weighted resistance while taking away range of motion. For example, rather than squatting past the parallel point with moderate to lighter weights, more weight and less of a squatting distance will allow the exercise to turn static. In extreme cases, some individuals actually remain motionless while holding weight in certain positions; this truly replicates static exercise, since no motion happens whatsoever.
The principle objective for each exercise in static contraction training allows individuals to spend less time in the gym or at home on a weight set. The exercises involved in static training utilize a lower amount of repetitiveness, less overall movement and more weight. Rather than fully pressing dumbbells for shoulder or chest workouts, a heavier weight set gets partially pressed in order to stimulate muscle contraction while limiting range of motion.
Utilizing Static Contraction Training
Some athletes turn to static contraction training in order to save time. Others make the switch to heavier weight in order to increase muscle size, density and strength. Several athletic workouts implement the use of static contraction exercises paired with traditional full range of motion sets, in order to fully stimulate muscle fibers.
Power lifters and athletes interested in gaining strength often turn to static training for an extra boost. Such lifts like the bench press, traditional back squat and the dead lift require explosive technique, which directly ties in with the techniques used in static contraction lifts.