A thorough warm-up reduces the risk of injury, especially when performed prior to repetitive and/or resistance-based exercise. The benefits of a general, circulatory warm-up:
- Increases body and muscle temperature and blood flow to working muscles
- Facilitates the production of energy for exercise
- Increases oxygen delivery to muscles
- Improves the travel speed of nerve impulses
- Improves the speed and efficiency of muscle contractions
- Gradually increases the load on the heart, which helps prevent abnormal cardiac rhythm
Dynamic-flexibility exercises are movements performed without the use of prolonged static holding positions and are most useful for building muscle through dynamic movement. The key to dynamic flexibility is moving slowly and never stopping the movement for more than one or two seconds. This technique allows the brain to constantly monitor the change in length of the muscles and specifically prepares the body for dynamic movement and exercise.
I want "bigger" arms. What types of exercises can help?
A whole host of exercises are intended to target the biceps muscles. These exercises rely upon variations of resisted elbow flexion that can be achieved by altering shoulder positions. By altering the starting length of the biceps, new effects can be created. Examples of variations include the incline dumbbell curl in shoulder extension (shoulder behind the body) and the concentration curl in shoulder flexion (shoulder in front of the body).
What is the benefit of cardiorespiratory exercise when it comes to exercise mechanics?
Cardiorespiratory exercise isn’t just for weight loss and management. Keep in mind that the human body is capable of adapting as a response to a stimulus such as exercise. Only when "optimal" exercise is presented to the body, "optimal" training effects occur. Cardiorespiratory exercise is key in that it facilitates "optimal" exercise. When repeated at regular intervals of sufficient time, intensity and frequency, exercise produces beneficial training effects that enable the client to function at a higher, more efficient level.
Will high-intensity cardio inhibit muscle building?
Some clients may be concerned about whether cardiorespiratory activity (at either high or low intensity) results in a loss of lean muscle tissue. Regardless of the exercise intensity, if the client isn’t providing his or her body with the appropriate amount and type of nutrients from food and supplementation, there is a decrease in lean muscle mass. However, if the body is supplied with the necessary nutrients, it is possible to actually gain lean muscle tissue. Protein or muscle degradation initiates protein synthesis and thus, the net result is more protein synthesis (when the proper nutrition is supplied). In addition, if your clients are participating in the proper amount of cardiorespiratory work, they’ll be able to increase caloric intake and continue to lose body fat. In turn, the increase in calories promotes the building or maintenance of lean body tissue.
I want to put on as much muscle as possible. Are there limits to how big I can get?
Yes. There are factors that will ultimately determine how much muscle you can pack on your frame, and most of those will be genetic. Factors such as age, hormonal levels, muscle fiber type distribution (type I (endurance) or type II (power, strength) predominance), total number of muscle fibers, frame size and current level of development can all affect your total muscle growth ability. Most do not hit these genetic barriers; as over training and improper eating seem to be the biggest obstacles for most.