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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Negatives for Positives
NOT adding 'negz' to your training could be hurting you

Squats, ALL Olympic lifts, curls, throwing, running, landing, etc all have one thing in common: Eccentric. Remember, E=mc2. Or should I just say, negatives or 'negz'. A body tends to stay in motion but eventually it has to slow down or stop! The same way with training and moving weight of any type through a range of motion. That weight can be body weight or a loaded ie barbell, dumbbell, weight plate etc. The key element in detecting weaknesses throughout a range and to intensify ANY training technique is through negative training cycles. This is a crucial element for improving strength and reducing injury risk and reducing the risk of training plateaus and improve other high amplitude lifts.

Take notice of the number of injuries that will typically occur when the muscle is decelerating. Ok, knee injuries happen during squatting movements, rotator cuff tears happen after the throw or at the end of ridiculous amounts of kips[at the bottom], hamstring tears occur, majority of times, JUST before heel strike. I could go on.
Protect your muscles and add negatives (also called eccentric) training. Are clients get a rude awakening when they have to assist a wide grip pull up then slowly descend with a 4 count...10 times! or a slower decent in the squat with a pause in the bottom of the squat BEFORE coming up, then quickly back down:don't pause at the top, pause in the 'pocket'(bottom). Properly executed RDL or 'good mornings' (right) is a  great way for improving hamstring reflex. A slow decent in this technique is crucial: 4 count i.e "1 1000, 2 1000") etc.  For the bicep we do manuals with towels. While your partner holds the both ends of a towel as you go into flexion, you resist return to extension or back to the beginning of the curl. 15 reps of that and you appreciate real muscle burn!  Adding chains (left) on the end of your barbell or cambered bar if you don't have a partner can work just as well. All range should be 'active' ie the muscle stays 'loaded' at the beginning AND end of movement. I call this a 'hard end' stop. So just because you reach the peak of the curl does not mean you finished the movement. Control the descent!!

In closing, if you find that you are lacking negatives in your workout, then your small and major muscle groups are being deprived of a major component of physique development and injury prevention! I Strongly recommend adding negatives every other workout. WARNING: excessive 'negz' can cause prolong muscle soreness. Do them as suggested. The volume is up to you but do them every other workout or once a week.

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