T Nation

Eliminating Leverages


is there any benefit at starting any lift in the stretched position like in most back work? For example, starting a push up with the chest on the ground instead of arm extended, and like how TC introduced the front squat but in the bottom position.


I don't know if there is any too big of benifits, but maybe so you have a point to return to on every rep so you are not a victim of doing half ROM.


For me personally movements that start in the contracted position are much easier to progress on and I feel in the target muscle more often. Plus the added benefit of having an extra lowering phase of the movement which means more cellular damage.


true scott true.

the squat and bench both are one of the easiest exercises to progress on and they start in the contracted position. so maybe if we all start rows or pullups in the contracted position...


The reason that exercises which begin with an eccentric phase are generally easier to progress on and can usually allow for more weight to be used is due to the eccentric loading of the muscles and connective tissues. I believe this is known as the "stretch shortening cycle".

Eliminating this build up of potential energy that gets stored in the connective tissues (mostly tendons) by beginning the exercise from a stretched position forces the muscles to do 100% of the work.

This is the reason why when you see someone do a set of really heavy deads, the first rep looks painfully difficult, but once they get the weight up the following reps appear much easier (well except for the last one if they are going to failure).

Of course there are benefits to both methods, so I would personally suggest using which ever method you felt was more conducive to your goals.

Good training,