Dynamic body-power training is all form of exercise in which only the power of our own body and mind creates resistance to muscle contractions. Properly executed, this kind of training has many advantages over other forms of resistance training dependant on weights, gear and different types of equipment.
At first sight, the main advantage we can see in Dynamic body-power training is that it can be done anywhere we go. This in itself is very valuable for those who can't go to a gym or who lack the proper equipment thought as necessary for resistance training.
It is very easy to consider body power alone as not enough to achieve considerable strength fitness goals. This is because many have the wrong idea that bodyweight alone does not allow variations in weight, thus believing that any further progress can only be achieved by adding more repetitions. The workout then takes more an air of an aerobic activity, while strength and muscle growth take a secondary role.
Body-power training is a combination of many factors and techniques, which when rightly combined and executed can help you reach levels of strength never imagined. By working the muscles at various angles, combining different types of muscle contractions, varying speed and increasing neuromuscular pathways, we end up with a holistic system of resistance training that should have a place of honour in any serious fitness program.
Body-power training classifications:
The key to understanding body-power training is in the word variation. It is not advisable to stick to the same routine over and over again. This is easily avoided once you understand how muscles contract and the effect each type of contraction has. Add to this a good collection of body-power exercises for each muscle group, either isolated or in combination with other muscles, and you have the first tools for your journey into a form of training you'll never regret having experienced.
Dynamic Stretching uses speed of movement, momentum and active muscular effort to bring about a stretch . Unlike static stretching the end position is not held. Arms circles, exaggerating a kicking action and walking lunges (without weights) are examples of dynamic stretches. Dynamic stretching is useful before training and has been shown to reduce muscle tightness. More recent scientific studies seem to suggest that dynamic stretches before training are preferably to static stretches, specially before resistance training.
More reading: Flexibility training
Calisthenics (bodyweight resistance)
Calisthenics are a form of dynamic exercise consisting of a variety of simple, often rhythmical, movements, generally using minimal equipment or apparatus. They are intended to increase body strength and flexibility with movements such as bending, jumping, swinging, twisting or kicking, using only one's body weight for resistance. They are usually conducted in concert with stretches. Calisthenics when performed vigorously and with variety can benefit both muscular and cardiovascular fitness, in addition to improving psychomotor skills such as balance, agility and coordination.
More reading: What Is The Best Calisthenics Workout?
Iso-tension (dynamic visualized resistance)
Iso-tension and DVR exercises use your self-created visualized resistance against an imaginary heavy resistance. The key is to maintain laser-like focused mind control and to think into the muscles as you work them. Exercises can be controlled by the amount of visualized-resistance you imagine. The greater the visualized-resistance you create with your imagination, the fewer reps you will be able to perform. Increasing the intensity of your "pump", isotension augments muscular development. Contrary to popular belief, the pump not only alters short-term appearance, but also serves an important function in the growth process.
More reading: Iso-tension tips
Dynamic tension (dynamic self-resistance)
Dynamic Tension is a self-resistance exercise method which pits muscle against muscle. The practitioner tenses the muscles of given body part and then moves the body part against the tension as if a heavy weight was being lifted. However, Dynamic Tension exercises are not merely isometrics, since they call for movement. Instead, the method comprises a combination of exercises in three disciplines: isotonic, isokinetic, and some exercises in the isometric discipline.
More reading: Dynamic Tension Revised
Plyometrics refers to exercise that enables a muscle to reach maximum force in the shortest possible time. The muscle is loaded with an eccentric (lengthening) action, followed immediately by a concentric (shortening) action. When a quick stretch is detected in the muscles, an involuntary, protective response occurs to prevent overstretching and injury. This response is known as the stretch reflex. The stretch reflex increases the activity in the muscles undergoing the stretch or eccentric muscle action, allowing it to act much more forcefully. The result is a powerful braking effect and the potential for a powerful concentric muscle action.
More reading: The Physiology of Plyometrics
Other articles in this series:
- Resistance training
- Training with dumbbells
- Bodyweight training; DiscussFitness.com
- Integrating Isotension into Your Workout; LookGreatNaked.com
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