Joints hurt when you work out? Well today’s post might help you out, so read on.
A static contraction is where you hold the weight (whether barbell or your body weight) in the same position for a set amount of time. Sounds easy and uncomplicated, right? Read on.
What makes this very interesting is that your static strength is much greater than your normal strength. For example, let’s say that for a bench press you might be able to press 100 lbs for one rep. With a static hold you could do somewhere between 130 and 200 lbs in a for 10-12 seconds. Some have claimed this leads to tremendous strength and size gains. I am not sure I am entirely convinced.
However, I do think static holds are a valuable tool in any fitness plan. You can use this technique in your at home (or at the gym) workouts. I have modified this concept for you guys- since I know many of you don’t have gym memberships or equipment at home. I have also tweaked it a bit to offer a couple different options. You can apply the options below to almost any exercise. For the sake of explanation, I am using the classic push-up as the example in all three options.
Assume the classic push-up position. Okay, now…
Option 1: Select one point in the range of motion- I would recommend either close to the top, the middle, or about two inches from the ground. Now get into that position and hold it for 10-20 seconds. That’s it. Repeat two or three times if desired. [This is great for folks who can’t do a complete push-up]
Option 2: Start at the top of the push-up position. Now lower your body about an inch every three to five seconds. Maintain complete control throughout this one rep. Adjust the speed to make it challenging.
Option 3: This is a modification of options 1 and 2. Instead of one motion down, feel free to move to any point in the range of motion. For example, let’s break the push-up range of motion into four segments- 1/4, 2/4, 3/4, and Full extension. Let me walk you through one possible scenario:
- Push up to the the 1/4 position (about 2 inches from the floor) and spend 5-10 seconds there.
- Push-up to a full extension.
- Drop back down to 1/2 position (half way up- fairly self-explanatory) and hold for 5-10 seconds.
- Push up to the 3/4’s position and hold for 5-10 seconds.
- Drop back down to the 1/4 position and hold for 15 seconds.
The potential combinations are limitless. You can also apply this to almost all of the 21 kinds of push-ups. So why not try it out today? Tell me how it went.