Explosive contraction most effective way to improve muscle strength

A recent study into explosive contraction supports the reasoning behind why the inhalation technique used during POWERbreathe Inspiratory Muscle Training (IMT) must be hard and fast.

Explosive contraction (ECT) vs sustained-contraction (SCT) strength training

In the Journal of Applied Physiology (2016) the study compares the effects of two types of training specificity for strength training. The first type is explosive-contraction strength training (ECT). The second type is sustained-contraction strength training (SCT). Trial participants performed different contractions on the quadriceps muscles located on the front of the thigh.  During ECT they needed to contract as fast and as hard as possible for 1 second. This gradually increased before holding for 3 seconds with SCT.

Study results show explosive-contraction strength training (ECT) is best

The study’s findings show that ECT produces a wider range of functional adaptations than SCT. It also says that “given the lesser demands of ECT, this type of training provides a highly efficient means of increasing function.”

Why is explosive contraction best?

Dr Jonathan Folland at Loughborough University led the study. He shows that explosive contractions are easier and a less tiring way of increasing strength and functional capacity of the muscles. Therefore it is a highly efficient method of training. And the method works by assisting the nervous system in ‘switching on’ and activating the trained muscles to increase their strength.

POWERbreathe IMT uses principle of explosive contraction

When training with POWERbreathe we recommend that you inhale quickly and forcefully, or with explosive contraction. This switches on the breathing muscles, mainly the diaphragm and intercostal muscles, and trains them to become stronger.

POWERbreathe IMT training regimen

The POWERbreathe IMT training regimen has sport and clinical science at its heart. In fact it is rigorous and systematic testing that has identified the most effective training regimen of 30 breaths twice a day.

Scientific tests support POWERbreathe IMT training regimen

  1. Specificity and Reversibility of Inspiratory Muscle Training
  2. Acute Cardiorespiratory Responses to Inspiratory Pressure Threshold Loading
  3. The Inspiratory Muscles can be Trained Differentially to Increase Strength or Endurance Using a Pressure Threshold, Inspiratory Muscle Training Device

Watch on YouTube

Have a look at How POWERbreathe Works on our YouTube channel. You will also find a video showing the proper breathing technique, breathing in quickly and forcefully.

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