All movements in weight training can be broken into 3 components. These include the stretch, mid-range and contraction parts of the movement.  Unfortunately, most gym-goers only concentrate on the mid-range exercise. The problem with this is that the other two components often get overlooked.

Today we are going to look at 3 different ways to work your muscles as discussed above. Because we are most familiar with mid-range, we are going to start with this.


WORK YOUR MUSCLE MID-RANGE

The mid-range part of the movement is the strongest which is why all we are going to include all of the big lifts into this category. I would always suggest starting with these movements as they can be extremely taxing on the body.


WORK YOUR MUSCLE BY STRETCHING IT

Concentrating on the stretch portion of the movement will help add length to the muscle. Think about it this way, if you have more land, you can build a bigger house. Stretches include all the exercise that really ‘pull’ your muscle in the opposite direction to which it contracts.


WORK YOUR MUSCLES WITH STRONGER CONTRACTIONS

The contraction portion helps to increase blood flow and pushes cell volume to its maximum. These work great as finisher exercises.



SO LET’S BREAK THESE DOWN INTO MUSCLE GROUPS AND GIVE YOU SOME EXAMPLES.




CHEST
Power Barbell Bench Press or Incline Barbell Bench Press
Stretch  Incline FlyeDecline FlyeFlat Flye or Cable Flye (Any movement that really gets a deep stretch)
Contraction  Cable crossovers (Really concentrate on the squeeze)

BICEPS
Power Underhanded Pull or Standing Barbell Curl
Stretch Incline curl (set the bench only as far back as you handle, straighten the arm and feel the stretch)
Contraction Half Curls (Do a curl from a seated position. This will only allow the bar to travel from your legs up to a full contraction – really squeeze)



TRICEPS
Power Close-grip bench or Tricep Dips
Stretch Lying Bar extension or Overhead Rope Extensions
Contraction Dumbell or Cable Kickbacks

SHOULDERS (MEDIAL DELT)
Power Dumbbell press or Machine Press
Stretch Leaning Side Lateral Raises
Contraction Partial side raises (Move your arms to about 45 degrees away from the body and squeeze)


BACK
Power Deadlifts or Wide Grip Pull Ups
Stretch Bent Over Row (Really stretch it out and only come up half way)
Contraction Stiff Arm Press Downs

BACK
Power Squats or Leg Press
Stretch  Sissie squats 
Contraction Leg extensions

HAMSTRINGS
Power Lying Leg Curls
Stretch Stiff legged deadlifts (If you touch the floor, stand on a small box / step so you can bend further)
Contraction Single Leg Standing Leg Curls



CALVES

Calves can be targeted  in one set. Complete a set of  full reps  and then perform stretch reps at the bottom part of the movement (only raise slightly before stretching out again); lastly, perform contraction reps at the top of the movement (only drop slightly before pushing up and contracting again.

To maximize muscle gains, try to include at least one of each of these components (mid-range, stretch and contraction) exercises into you weight training regime. This will work your muscle from all angles and give you all-round growth.

 



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