What Is Manual Resistance Training (and Why wouldn\’t you Get it done)?

What should you could build strength, muscle endurance, and increase concentric, eccentric, and isometric contraction abilities, WITHOUT weights? While movements like squats, deadlifts, presses, and pull-ups won\’t ever go out of style, we are able to use non-weighted strength training ?methods, such as manual resistance training to maximize our muscle growth and gratifaction.

In this article, we\’ll discuss manual resistance training, why it is good for strength, power, and fitness athletes, and just how you can add this protocol into finishers, accessory blocks, or corrective segments.

Note, the movement above continues to be considered manual resistance because the lifter is using the EZ bar for a handle, with additional loading being placed to the muscles through the training partner. This movement can also be done with no bar, where the lifter places their hands clasped together.

What Is Manual Resistance Training?

Manual resistance is a type of external resistance which requires a partner or a trainer to provide and control the amount of applied resistance throughout the entire selection of movement (1). This form of resistance training does no require usage of external loading for example barbells, dumbbells, or bands, which makes it a great choice for large groups or perhaps in settings with limited equipment. Additionally, manual resistance might help lifters increase eccentric and concentric muscle contractions strength, hypertrophy, and combat muscular fatigue.

5 Benefits of Manual Resistance Training

Below are five (5) benefits of manual resistance training techniques that coaches and athletes can use like a supplemental form of strength training to increase strength, muscle endurance, and make better fitness.

Improved Strength and Muscle Endurance

Traditional strength training modalities happen to be recognized to increase muscle strength, hypertrophy, and force output, however research also suggests that manual resistance can also increase those attributes to a similar extent. Manual strength training can provide similar effectiveness for increasing strength and muscle endurance to that of traditional resistance training exercises, which can be then used by trainers and coaches who may not have use of high levels of equipment (1).

No Equipment Needed

Manual resistance requires little to no equipment (apart from a partner), and maybe a towel (to help keep sweaty arms and hands from slipping). The opportunity to train muscular strength, endurance, and corrective health without the need of external equipment like barbells, dumbbells, and bands makes manual strength training an alternate method for trainers and coaches in larger team settings or perhaps in situations where devices are limited.

Good for Rehabilitation/Preventative Programs

Manual resistance workouts are often seen in physical therapy situations and/or during preventive exercises in sports training. The opportunity to make use of a coach/trainer inside a highly personalized and adjustable manner (due to the coach/trainer being able to manipulate loading through the range of motion) can help to increase concentric and eccentric strength capacities of a weak or injured muscles and provide coaches/trainers/athletes necessary feedback around the abilities of the muscle.

Can Train to Temporary Fatigue

Manual resistance exercises could be taken (often, in one set) to maximal temporary failure, which will help to induce muscle hypertrophy and development in most athletes. By performing manual resistance training exercise correctly, you are able to stress concentric, eccentric, and isometric exercises towards the fullest, further enhancing overall strength and control through the range of motion and muscle capacities.

Train Both Eccentric and Concentric Contractions

Briefly discussed above, manual resistance exercise can be achieved to improve concentric, eccentric, and even isometric abilities of the muscle. To do this, a trainer/coach/partner should apply continuous pressure throughout all ranges of the motion to bolster the the contraction (concentric and eccentric) phases from the muscle.

How to Program Manual Resistance Exercises

Below you\’ll find general guidelines regarding how to program manual resistance training exercises into a standard fitness, strength, and/or athletic routine. It is important to observe that the below guidelines are NOT intended to be utilized in a rehabilitation setting and/or for physical therapy protocol. If this sounds like you intended purpose, please look for a professional (licensed) physical therapist.

Sets and Reps

Manual resistance exercises do not need to learn in large quantities of volume (sets and reps), due to the ability to elicit high amounts of muscle fatigue in a very short amount of time. It is recommended that you perform one (1) set to fatigue with moderate resistance to allow an athlete to fail among 15-20 repetitions. Applying heavy resistance may impact an athlete’s ability to maintain proper form, awareness and focus on the muscle contractions (eccentric and concentric), and may not allow for sufficient time under tension to stimulate muscle hypertrophy (aim for at least 30 seconds or more).

Resistance (Loading)

As discussed above, the resistance added ought to be held in the start of an average amount, one that allows a sports athlete to maintain proper form, technique, and tension on the muscle all the time (during the eccentric and concentric portions).

Rest Periods

Rest periods intra-set (during) ought to be restricted to as little as possible, because the manual resistance protocol permits the coach/trainer/partner to use less resistance as a lifter fatigues. In doing so, fatigue markers build up, signalling body building.

Note: If you\’re to do several set (which isn\’t recommended for beginners, however one to two sets can be achieved per exercise per workout), we advise resting 60-90 seconds between sets (or as long as it takes to change partners to enable them to perform their set).

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