T Nation

Locking Out the Joints

I lock my joints out most of the time. I feel that “keeping tension on the muscle” is accomplished becasue if the weight is heavy enough you dont relax in the lock out put squeeze to support the weight.

Regardeless I did not think the old addage about not locking out the joint to keep tension on the muscle will mean better gains. Whats everyone else think?

I believe the rule is: “constant tension” is better for hypertrophy (muscle growth), while locking out is more beneficial for strength gains.

One of the easiest ways to increase the “time under tension” of a muscle (a requirement for muscle growth) is to only go near-to lockout. Conversely, by fully locking out with a weight, the tendons and ligaments are worked through their full range of motion, which gets them better able to support heavy loads.

I may have just made no sense…I’m not sure.

P.S. - With that said, I lock out on pretty much every exercise, 97%…no, make that 99% of the time.

I don’t like locking out. It just doesn’t feel right, but I’m going for hypertrophy first, strength last. Even though I"m pretty strong, I’m not as strong as the guys at my gym that do lockout on bench after every rep and rest for a 1/2 a second.

I think its personal preferance, but there might be some studies or fact that locking out might be worse for the joints, but I’m not sure.