Traditionally, if you want to strengthen your arms, the quickest, most obvious and easiest option is to perform biceps curls with dumbbells.
Depending on whether you have more or less strengthened this muscular area, you will dare to use a greater or lesser number of kilos. But in reality, far from the effectiveness of this proven exercise, a group of scientists have developed an alternative to this method that will make your biceps grow faster and without much effort.
How ? By giving more importance to stretching the biceps than to contracting them. A recent study conducted by a team of sports science researchers from Edith Cowan University in Australia showed that performing muscle lengthening exercises increases fibrous tissue more effectively than contracting with weights. This hypothesis, put forward in previous research, was confirmed.
“If we find that this rule can be applied to other muscles, it is possible to complete an entire workout in less than 30 seconds.”
While it is true that lifting weights and contracting the muscle burns more calories, this alternative stiffens the muscle more, which results in a greater ability of the brain to respond to muscle movements. To test this hypothesis, scientists divided 26 young adults into two groups: one group performed exercises consisting of biceps extensions for three seconds twice a week; the second group did the same, but once a week, three times in total. In the end, over a period of two weeks and comparing the results between the two groups, the second group obtained better results in terms of muscle mass, but not really overall improvement of the body.
Up to 11.5% more strength
Another study previously suggested that relaxing the biceps for three seconds produced better results in terms of muscle strength than contracting them. After one minute of cumulative exercises, spread over four weeks, participants in the experimental group improved their strength by 11.5%. “We haven’t studied other muscles yet, but if we find that this rule can apply to other muscles, you might be able to do a full workout in less than 30 seconds,” says Ken Kazunori Nosaka, a sports trainer who commented on the results for Science Alert.
Thus, according to this latest study, participants who exercised for three weeks per week saw an average increase of 2.5% in force when contracting the muscle, and 3.9% when contraction of the leg. The key seems to be the number of repetitions per week, because if you only do two (like the control group) you won’t get any results. So you have to do at least three.
“Our previous work has already shown that short, regular exercises are more beneficial than one or two large training sessions per week,” Nosaka added. “We now have a clearer idea of the tipping point where we start to see significant results with even the smallest amount of exercise. These new results suggest that it takes at least three days a week to reach this point.
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