Muscle training refers to the use of anaerobic endurance to increase the size of skeletal muscle and muscular contraction to increase, build and maintain strength. The most common form of muscle building involves the use of elastic hydraulic training or gravity forces in order to oppose muscle contraction. Muscle training is divided into three basic categories: isometric training, isotonic training and isokinetic training.
Isometric Muscle Training
These exercises function to develop static strength. This is the strength needed to pull or push a heavy object or hold it up for any length of time. The joint and muscle are worked together. The Plank is an example of a typical isometric exercise.
1. Lie face down on a mat while resting on forearms with palms flat on floor
2. Push off floor while rising up onto toes, resting on elbows
3. Keep back flat while remaining in a straight line
4. Tilt pelvis and contract abdominal muscles
5. Hold position for 20-60 seconds before lowering, repeat 3-5 times
• Quick to do with little effort
• No need for expensive equipment
• Can be done anywhere
• Muscle only gain strength at an angle while exercising
• Blood flow to the muscle stops during exercises meaning less blood flow to the heart, could be an issue for those with heart problems
• Not effective by itself
Isotonic Muscle Training
These exercises involve muscle contractions, providing movement. Most training exercises fall under this category. Isotonic weight lifting and leg exercises.
• Strengthens muscles through range of movement
• Exercises can be done to match actions used in the sports you play
• Muscles may become sore due to stress as they shorten
• Muscles gains are not distributed evenly
Isokinetic Muscle Training
These exercises involve muscle short muscle contractions at a constant speed. These exercises differ from isotonic exercises in that they usually start at a slow pace. Special equipment is needed to monitor when a muscle speeds up so the load can be increased to slow it down.
• Muscles gain strength evenly
• Quick way to increase muscle strength
• Equipment needed tends be expensive and is not found in many gyms because of this
Muscle training exercises tend to be most effective when combined. A recommended routine is to alternate days and focus on one type of muscle training per day. Final results will come from a combination of all three types of muscle training exercises.