Muscle Development 101: Snakes On A Plane

Happy Friday friends! This week we are going to continue our discussion on muscle growth and development via the most efficient and effective ideologies. So last week we discussed angles and their importance on activating certain muscles and muscle groups. This week, we are going to talk about the planes and how muscles are more than just unilateral tissues.

We exist in several dimensions and as such can manipulate the environment and objects in it in many different planes of motion. With this in mind, and knowing that our muscle groups exert certain forces based on the activity, we can ask ourselves, “Does the tissue exert the same force outward even after elevating or descending the plane of motion a few degrees?”

The best example of this question would be analyzing the Bench Press and the Incline Bench Press side by side.

Each of these motions recruits the Pectorals as the prime mover, but what force is exerted on the tissue and is it uniform for either activity?

The simple answer, is no, it is not. Join me now for a quick experiment!

I want you to extend your left arm forward straight out ahead of you and towards your bodies mid-line so that your pectoral muscle is flexed. Take your free hand, and apply pressure to the tissue with your palm so you can feel the flexed muscle. Now, raise your arm up slowly, keeping the pectoral flexed.

Did you feel the tension in the tissue travel up with your motion towards the top of the pectoral muscle?

Pretty cool, right??

Using this knowledge it would stand to reason that when we manipulate an object through the various planes and continue to use the same muscle tissue, we activate more of a section of the tissue based on this.

So, let’s tie this all together now. If you are trying to develop your Pectoral muscles uniformly and grow the strength in the tissue so that it matches no matter the angle or plane you are moving it through, you MUST work the muscle in the different planes of existence.

This goes for ANY muscle.

Trying to tone your arms faster and get the statuesque even look? Perform movements that work those muscles with your elbows behind you, at your sides, in front of you, and even above your shoulders!

This same train of thought applies to all of the muscles. Use different moves, different angles, and produce work through the various planes. Don’t limit yourself, and don’t limit your results. Happy lifting!

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