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     Fitness Tips For 3/26/2008
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Slow Exercise Movement Speed 
By Andrew Baye
Reprinted with permission of Exercise Protocol Magazine.

Damage results when a material is exposed to a force which exceeds 
its structural strength. Slower repetition speeds expose the body 
to less force, decreasing the risk of injury. The following is 
excerpted from the Super Slow Exercise Guild's web site, "It is a 
misconception that excessive weight causes injury during exercise. 
Many well-meaning physicians recommend reduced weight for patients 
without realizing the real danger; force. Many injuries sustained
through activities pursued as exercise were caused when little or 
no additional weight was involved - the acceleration of the subjects
own limbs often causes the injury (for example: the impact on a 
jogger's knees, tennis elbow, a baseball pitcher's shoulder, a lower 
back injury sustained while picking up a golf ball, even 
weight-training injuries sustained with "light weight, low reps" 
often cause injury). The key to minimizing injury is minimizing 
force. Force equals mass times acceleration. In physics, this is 
known as the acceleration law:

F=ma

While it is natural to beware the amount of weight (mass); 
acceleration, the greater danger, is almost universally ignored. If 
you limit the speed of movement (don't heave, explode or use any
other ballistic movement) you significantly reduce the probability 
of injury. This also enables people rehabilitating injuries to work 
them directly by significantly reducing the possibility of 
exacerbating them. Strengthening the damaged structure directly will 
speed rehabilitation."

To minimize the amount of force the body is exposed to during an 
exercise, one should attempt to barely move as they begin each 
repetition. When beginning the first repetition, only apply a very 
slight amount of force against the resistance. Slowly, gradually 
increase the amount of force you are applying until you feel the 
movement begin. Then, apply only enough force to keep it moving 
slowly. Concentrate on contracting the target muscles as intensely 
as possible continuously throughout the exercise.


As you approach the end of the positive or negative movement, 
gradually decrease speed until you are barely moving so that you 
will be able to perform the turnaround in a slow and controlled 
manner, with no jerking, bouncing, or sudden acceleration. On 
compound pushing movements (leg press, chest press, overhead press, 
dips, etc.) turnaround prior to full extension of the arms or legs 
to avoid unloading. On compound pulling movements (compound row, 
pull down, chin ups, etc.) and simple movements (rotary movements 
such as arm and leg curls and extensions) pause briefly in the most 
contracted position. Do not pause at the lower turnaround
(end of the negative). If you can bottom-out the weight stack, only 
allow the weights to very lightly touch. Then immediately, but 
slowly, begin the next repetition.

When it seems almost impossible to produce any further movement 
against the resistance, concentrate on contracting the target 
muscles as hard as you can, attempting to keep the resistance 
moving, even if it seems to barely move at all. Once positive 
movement ceases, continue to contract the target muscles for a 
few more seconds to fatigue them as deeply as possible. When you 
have achieved momentary muscular failure, do not accelerate or 
in any way sacrifice proper form for the sake of finishing the 
repetition. The purpose of performing an exercise is to inroad 
the strength levels of the target muscles to stimulate a growth 
mechanism, and not to simply lift the weight for the sake of 
lifting the weight.

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Neither trulyhuge.com nor the authors of this publication assume any liability for the information contained herein. The Information contained herein reflects only the opinion of the author and is in no way to be considered medical advice. Specific medical advice should be obtained from a licensed health care practitioner. Consult your physician before you begin any nutrition, exercise, or dietary supplement program.

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