How long have you been doing your current workout program? If it’s been more than few months then you may have noticed that you are no longer experiencing results like you did when you first started. Think about this for a moment: the gym is the only place where we repeatedly perform the exact some movement the exact same way. Every. Time. The human body is a series of extremely adaptable biological systems; if you continue to do the same exercises with the same amount of weight for the same number of reps your body will become much more efficient at the workout which could lead to a training plateau where you no longer experience significant changes. The best way to avoid this mistake and keep experiencing the #gains you want is to change your workouts on a regular basis! Your body wants and needs variability; if you do the same movement repeatedly it could be a possible cause of injury by fatiguing the involved tissues and joint structures.
It can take about three or four months to fully adjust to an exercise program so some consistency helps ensure that your body makes the desired adaptations. To see the best results you don’t need to do a different workout every time you exercise but making some small changes that can challenge your muscles to work differently with each workout can help ensure you avoid the dreaded workout plateau.
The concept of movement variability suggests that our body is designed to perform a wide variety of physical tasks and adding minor changes to each workout can help muscles develop greater strength and resiliency leading to the outcomes we want from exercise. The following list can help you to understand what movement variability is and how you can use it to create an exercise program to strengthen all of the muscles in your body at the same time.
Movement variability is the concept of performing a variety of different tasks, movement patterns or exercises in order to prepare muscles and elastic connective tissue to generate force in almost any situation. Lifting with heavy weights can help add size or increase strength but the heavier the weight, the smaller the range of motion. Meaning that the force of the resistance will be localized in a specific area as a opposed to being mitigated throughout a number of different tissues.
The principle of specificity tells us that the body will adapt to the specific exercise stresses placed upon it. Lifting heavy can make you strong and increase muscle size but if you’re only doing linear movements with heavy weights then you are missing the opportunity to strengthen the fascia and elastic connective tissues which surround every component of muscle down the the smallest fiber. Movement variability exercises challenge the body to move in a variety of directions in an effort to improve overall levels of strength. Understanding how movement variability exercises engage a large amount of fascia and connective tissue can help you increase your overall strength and ability to generate force in a number of different directions.
Movement variability can help you strengthen more tissue and improve coordination. Most traditional resistance training exercises incorporate the use of machines or free weights like barbells and dumbbells. Machines use pulleys and cams designed to place the greatest amount of resistance where a specific muscle is capable of producing the highest magnitude of force during a concentric (shortening) muscle action and control the path-of-motion of the movement. Traditional free weight exercises feature curvi-linear joint actions which typically take place in a single plane of motion where muscles work to generate force directly against the downward pull of gravity. Doing the same patterns with the same amount of resistance over an extended period of time could lead to tissues becoming stronger but only in the specific ranges of motion in which they’re used. A shifting mass, like that featured in an ActivMotion Bar, can help involve more muscle and connective tissue to control the movements of the resistance. In addition, the dynamic, shifting mass can improve the way the muscles work to control joint motion leading to better coordination and motor skills.
Movement variability exercises can help ensure that you receive the optimal results from your workouts. Traditional equipment like barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells and machines can be extremely effective, but after a while your body will adapt and will require a new type of stimulus. Strength training with an ActivMotion Bar can help you add more variability to your workout program which can increase in your mobility, strength, balance and coordination. The shifting mass inside the ActivMotion Bar creates variability by changing the direction, distance or speed of an exercise. The movement of the ball bearings inside of each ActivMotion Bar allows you to perform low-to-moderate intensity exercises in a variety of movement patterns resulting in your ability to adapt to a constantly shifting mass and help you to prepare for the changing environment you may encounter throughout your day.
As you can see from the examples above, adding movement variability to your exercise programs can provide a variety of benefits that are hard to match using traditional strength training equipment. For more information on how to add movement variability to your exercise programs, visit the homepage of our website here or catch ActivMotion Bar live at an event near you this year.