Why It Is Vital To Strengthen Weak Muscles



Strengthening Weak Muscles.–Muscular weakness may be corrected by working the muscles against heavy loads. The loads should be adapted to the strength of the muscles and increased as muscle strength is improved. Tile rate of improvement will generally be in proportion to the amount of work performed by the muscles. Rapid improvement requires long periods of work. If the load of work is too heavy or the movement too rapid, or if insufficient rest is allowed between the bouts of work, exhaustion will occur and the total amount of work which can be accomplished during the exercise period is diminished.

A properly planned weight lifting program using dumbbells and barbells will give rapid increase in strength of weak muscles. The amount of work can be accurately controlled and the exercise can be adapted to the muscle groups needing the greatest development. Wrestling and gymnastics are also useful for improving muscular strength. In wrestling, however, a weak person usually exhausts himself before he has performed enough work to bring about the desired rate of improvement, Gymnastics tend to develop only the special parts of the body which are used in exercises. Both wrestling and gymnastics have a greater value in the later stages of a strength building program.

A special problem arises in exercises designed to strengthen abdominal muscles. Leg-lifting and trunk-flexing exercises can be performed most easily by contractions of the strong hip flexor muscles, the sartorius, rectus femorus, psoas major, iliacus, and the adductors. Abdominal muscles are brought strongly into play only when the performer contracts them voluntarily during exercise. Assistance can be given by palpation of the abdominal muscles and encouragement of the performer to use his abdominal muscles strongly in the exercise.

Autogenous auditory facilitation by means of electrical amplification of the performer’s own muscle sounds assists in increasing the work output and endurance when muscular exercise is difficult. Tests of Muscular Strength.–The strength of a muscle or group of muscles, or the muscular strength of the entire body, may be estimated by using an apparatus which is arranged to allow the muscles to pull against a dynamometer. The strength of the hand grip, the leg extensors and the back are easily measured using this method. The strength of muscles activating other joints of the body can be measured by observations of the amount of tension which can be applied to a cable appropriately placed for specified movements. The strength of the arms may be estimated by determining the number of chins on a high bar or push-ups from the floor. However, when the performance is improved so that more than 10 or so chins or push-ups can be achieved in succession, the test becomes more a measure of endurance. The various measures of strength may be combined into an index which becomes a convenient tool for measuring the present strength of an individual and for measuring the effectiveness of a strength building program.Hand grip strength in young men averages 119 pounds. Strength scores increase with age until 25 years and then decrease. At 60 years of age the decline in grip strength is 16.5 per cent from maximum. Leg strength of young men measured in a seated position and pushing against a foot pedal averages 565 pounds, and is directly related to body weight. Maintenance of muscular force, or strength endurance, is significantly correlated with maximum strength.

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1 Response to “Why It Is Vital To Strengthen Weak Muscles”


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