Lengthening & Shortening The Muscle For Added Muscle Growth

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This one strategy completely changed the way I train and helped me add more muscle and get stronger. Purposely working and understanding the entire range of a muscle has helped me add serious muscle mass, better symmetry, get stronger and stay healthier.

Are you consciously aware of your muscles stretching and contracting when you train? Do you understand exactly when the target muscle is at it's fully lengthened and fully shortened position?

If not, understanding this concept and applying it could dramatically increase your strength and muscle mass. Too many people spend too much time in the middle of the rep range because this is where we are strongest - coincidently where it's easiest.

Muscles stretch (elongate) and they contract.   For maximum muscle hypertrophy (growth) we should try to work the muscle throughout it's entire range - not with every set and every exercise - but within our training program.

Take a chest fly for example, when you lower the weight, the goal is to fully stretch the pec.  Once it is fully stretched, contract and squeeze the weight up as hard as you can until the pec is in it's fully shortened position.

The same goes for a biceps curl, the biceps is at it's longest position when your arm is straight, it is at it's shortest position when you contract as hard as possible at the top of the rep.  (Note that to actually fully shorten the biceps you have to lift your arm above your head and reach behind your neck - as if you were trying to scratch your back)

You have probably noticed that at the bottom of the biceps curl, or the chest fly you find it harder.  This is because you are weakest at both extremes of the muscle range. If you get stronger at both of these weakest ranges you will definitely increase your overall strength and muscle size.

Partial movements (half way up, half way down) will not be working the muscle throughout it's entire range which essentially means you are missing out on potential growth.

Lazy trainers, or trainers that don't consciously think about what they are doing spend too much time in the middle portion of the rep range.  Essentially missing out on working the muscle fully and therefore hindering their progress.

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