Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Negative Resistance. When two negatives make a positive. #atozchallenge

Get fit or die trying.

Negative resistance training.

In weight training the negative part of the movement is the part that is helped most with gravity. The way down during a push up, the lowering back to the floor part of sit-up.  Also known as eccentric contraction. Increasing effort or load during the eccentric or easy part of the exercise can improve your strength, help with progression and is often used in rehabilitation.

Swimmers can use negative resistance by swimming with clothes on, runners can use a small parachute attached to their back. In weightlifting it is often done with partner or spotter, that helps lift the heavier than normal weight back to the top again after you struggle with it on the way down. Alternatively weightlifters will do the eccentric phase or return very slowly or hold for a few extra seconds to resist gravity.  

What's the point? Well if you can swim fast with clothes on, imagine race day with just your swimmers on. You'll be stronger, lighter and naturally swim faster.  In powerlifting negative resistance is used to condition the muscles and progress to lifting a heavier weight. If done right will increase muscle soreness.  It is never easy to add resistance, but doing so makes getting to the next level easier

For us normal folk who might just want to learn how to do a push up, practising the push down part when you first start out, is going to help strengthen the muscles you need to push back up again.  Adam Pik gives an excellent how-to master pushups guide for wimps at his Road to Epic website 

This N post took longer than expected because I've been struggling to find some sort of real life example of the positives of negative resistance. Why make things harder for ourselves than they already are?

I been stuck thinking about the negatives of weight loss, clothes no longer fitting, emotions stored in lipids and how they come to the surface as fat cells melt away. Sometimes even a positive is difficult and it just feels easier to give up when things become to hard. 

Then it dawned on me lifting 100kgs is never easy. Adding resistance to anything is never easier, but the joy comes from both attempting and achieving. I hate adding resistance to my bike when I'm spinning but I feel like wonder woman when the climb is finished. 

Maintaining relationships, eating right, keeping fit, writing a book - none of it is easy. Doing half a lift, talking about tough things when your in a good mood, savouring one piece of chocolate instead devouring the whole block will all help make the next leap to bigger, better, stronger, accomplished easier. 



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  1. Lol I'm going swimming tonight but I think they might object if I go in with my clothes on ;) but your post did make me smile :) Funnily enough I avoid swimming at the edge of the pool as I find it harder going than if I'm in the middle, there seems to be something about the water movement coming off the side...

    Mars xx
    @TrollbeadBlog from
    Curling Stones for Lego People

  2. Your post is so true. Some of the most worthwhile things are hard. Not everything can or should be easy.


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