Looking to lose weight? Try our FREE Calorie Counter »  |  Log In
Articles Fitness Nutrition

What Is Dynamic Tension?

Mar 11, 2010

Those interested in the art of improving the body with fitness activities might work out for a long time without being aware of the specific strategies of dynamic tension. This somewhat little-known exercise concept can be a powerful part of a workout routine.

What Is Dynamic Tension?

Dynamic tension is a kind of exercise that uses one muscle group's power against another. Fitness experts sometimes call this "self resistance" technique. In dynamic tension exercise, there's often a range of motion where a muscle group works against another one that supplies tension. It's similar to someone arm-wrestling themself. Just as in arm wrestling, one limb or body part is working against another one.

Dynamic Tension and Isometrics

Some people confuse dynamic tension with what's called isometrics. Isometrics may also rely on the same kind of tension (although other forms of it do not) but in isometrics, there is no range of motion or limb movement. That makes isometrics a specific training principle for increasing muscle strength in limited ways, where dynamic tension does improve muscles through a full range of motion.

History of Dynamic Tension

It's important for fitness enthusiasts to know that dynamic tension has been effectively trademarked and used extensively in a specific context.

Most of us are well familiar with Charles Atlas and his bodybuilding programs, but some may not know that Charles Atlas actually engineered and designed popular programs that he called dynamic tension, and that still represent the discipline today. Those who are familiar with Charles Atlas will remember his story, in which the young man is challenged by bullies and subsequently builds himself up into a "classic strongman."

According to some of the legends surrounding Atlas, he thought up dynamic tension from watching a tiger in a cage, trying to figure out how animals build muscle without equipment. From this, the principle of dynamic tension was born. Charles Atlas continues to be a powerful representative for this kind of resistance training, and companies and groups sponsoring his products and training philosophies are sources of more information about how dynamic tension can help others improve their bodies and their responses to resistance challenges.

Benefits of Dynamic Tension

Dynamic tension is great for some trainers because it doesn't necessitate a lot of equipment. Another huge benefit of this kind of strength training is its natural customization that prevents some forms of injury. Because dynamic tension uses the internal body forces to train the body, as the muscle tires, the force will decrease, therefore limiting the possibility of an excessive force injuring the muscle groups working against it.

Individuals who want to work dynamic tension exercises into their programs can check out an extensive website from Charles Atlas, Ltd. where much more about this specific training strategy is on display. Think about how this kind of training could be a great addition to an existing regular fitness routine or power workout session.

Article Comments