Do you want to:
- Have bigger muscles?
- Prevent potential injuries in an obstacle course race?
- Rock a mannequin challenge?
The are three different ways we move: with gravity, against gravity, and just holding in space (jargon: eccentric, concentric, and isometric). Those taking part in a Mannequin Challenge are not only being entertaining, they’re working really hard.
Despite not moving, the mannequins must struggle to hold their body in a certain position for 30-60 seconds, which is the ideal amount of time under tension for size growth (hypertrophy). The more awkward and challenging the position, the better (within reason). Really think about squeezing your muscles as you freeze on spot. Here are some good positions:
- Holding a bridge… great for the bum
- Flexed hang… wonderful for the back and shoulders
- Bottom of a squat… ridiculous for the thighs and core
Not only will you get bigger muscles, but you will have more stable joints as well. In typical exercises, we move weights (or our bodies) with or against gravity. This is excellent work for our prime mover muscles and necessary to become faster and stronger. But by holding a position, we can focus on stabilization muscles. These keep our big muscles from coming out of position when say, we’re swing on rings or trying not to tumble down a steep mountain side. They don’t get as much love as the flashy prime mover muscles, but neglecting them can truly dislocate your entire season.
As always, if you have any questions or need any help… I’d love to hear from you. Take care of yourself.