Try Muscle Irradiation For Instance Power Increase

Posted: May 17, 2011 in Exercise
My 13-year-old daughter (the athlete of the family) was telling me how she was able to do the most chin ups in her gym class but was still not happy because she got stuck on the last rep.  I told her that next time that happened she should squeeze her grip as hard as she can and tense her stomach muscles.  I explained this would give her the extra “ooomph” to finish the rep.  This is a trick I read in “Power to the People” by the well-known Russian trainer, Pavel Tsatsouline (don’t ask me how to pronounce that!).
The principle is called muscle irradiation and works by creating tension in surrounding muscles which increases neuro-muscular recruitment within the target muscles.  I am not sure of the science behind it, but I have used it in my weight training and it definitely makes a difference.  And it doesn’t have to be saved for the last rep….you can use it throughout your set for increased power.  I try to employ it with many exercises….curling, bench press, squat, deadlift, etc.  I have also tried tensing other bodyparts, but the abs and grip seem to work best for me.  Try muscle irradiation in your workouts and maybe one day you will be able to do the most chin ups in your gym class!
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