Change weightlifting to lowering, reduce your gym time

Change weightlifting to lowering, reduce your gym time

Exercise is great, but many of us would still rather do less of it. Luckily, new research from Edith Cowan University suggests there’s a quick way to decrease your gym time while maximizing effectiveness — and no, it’s not a scam.

The recent study found that lowering weights, as a motion, rather than picking weights up or pulling them toward you, is a type of muscle contraction most effective at increasing muscle strength and size.

In fact, across groups of study participants asked to perform three different types of dumbbell curls, those who started with the weights up and slowly lowered them saw the same results as those who raised and lowered them.

The findings corroborate previous research that pointed to “eccentric” muscle contraction, where activated muscles lengthen, as being key to increasing both muscle size and strength. A traditional bicep curl would be a “concentric” muscle contraction.

The researchers also noted that the group that only lowered weights saw significant improvements in muscle thickness: 7.2% compared with a 5.4% improvement for the group that raised and lowered weights.

For those who want to give it a try, exercises such as bicep curls, front raises, shoulder press, knee extensions, leg curls and calf raises are all great places to start.

It’s also great news for those of us strapped for time, meaning that those supposedly “quick” workout plans may actually be as advertised. So go ahead: Start from what would ordinarily be the ending position of an exercise and slowly go in the opposite direction.

It will be tougher, because you’re using less frequently engaged muscles, but it won’t demand as much of your time.

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