T Nation

Muscle Belly Length?

I read somewhere in wikipedia that you can’t make a muscle belly longer ((it’s genetic) but it can shorten due to stress (aka lengthen the tendons , which is bad since it limits the growth potential)

is that true?
any articles on the subject?

I don’t have any references to back me up, but I’d say it’s highly unlikely that this could occur. A muscle belly can’t get longer becase it can’t change length at all, which would of course preclude its getting shorter as well.

The muscle belly shortens anytime you flex it. It is the contraction of the muscle that allows it to do work. The way to make a muscle grow is to make the muscle contract against heavy resistance.

On the issue of genetics and muscle belly length: some people have longer, bigger muscles; some have shorter, smaller muscles. Irregardless of your genetics, if given the correct stimulus the muscles will grow.

With sensible training I cannot imagine a scenario where the unflexed, rested length of a muscle could actually shrink. There would have to be some sort of injury involved. Just my 2 cents.