Contrast Training for Strength
Living in a world that is dominated by gravity, it makes sense that strength training the body using gravity dominated tools would be the most effective. However, when the body and its muscle structure is also impacted by momentum and ground reaction shear forces, that gravity impacts only partially.
It should also be noted that momentum and ground reaction forces impact the body significantly more as it relates to injuries, joint degeneration and the ability to maintain a high level of function with age.
Yes, we must always be able to lift the body against gravity such as standing up, getting up from lying down or climbing stairs. However, in most cases these actions are single plane low level functional movements that rarely cause the body harm.
Compare that to slowing down during a higher speed movement or having to walk on uneven surfaces, balance on one leg or regain balance from an awkward movement. These are more advanced actions that require the body to handle changes in momentum and ground reaction forces.
Contrast Training provides the body with exactly what it needs to develop the right strength to effectively deal with all 3 forces it will be exposed to throughout life.
Training the body to be momentum and ground reaction strong requires using resistance that is not dependent on gravity. Band resistance is not gravity dependent and can influence and change momentum and ground reaction forces that, in turn, will train the body to become stronger against those important forces.
Contrast strength training is a unique training approach that challenges the body to adapt to an ascending elastic band resistance and a gravity dependent constant free weight resistance.
By combining these two types of training stimuli, it provides the body with exactly what it needs to develop the strength needed to handle all 3 forces it will be exposed to throughout a lifetime.
Impacting the Body Using Contrast Training
There are 3 distinct ways to use contrast training to strengthen the body. It’s important to routinely challenge the body using all 3 of these contrast training influences.
- Contrast two distinctly different resistance types
- Contrast different directions of movement
- Contrast changes in speed of movement
The following videos provide in-depth insight on how each of those ways can be implemented into a routine exercise program each week.
Resistance-based contrast training
Movement direction-based contrast training
Speed-based contrast training