T Nation

Overactive Stretch Reflex?

When I contract a muscle hard and then try to move it in the opposite direction, for example hyperextend arm to flex tricep and then try to curl, I feel a lot of resistance. If I clench my fist quickly and open it the same thing happens and I can’t fully open it.

It dosen’t seem to happen after the muscle is “warmed up” but on the first rep of certain exercises this is annoying as hell. Just in general though I don’t know what this is. Any ideas?

[quote]Skrussian wrote:
When I contract a muscle hard and then try to move it in the opposite direction, for example hyperextend arm to flex tricep and then try to curl, I feel a lot of resistance. If I clench my fist quickly and open it the same thing happens and I can’t fully open it.

It dosen’t seem to happen after the muscle is “warmed up” but on the first rep of certain exercises this is annoying as hell. Just in general though I don’t know what this is. Any ideas?[/quote]

What you have described is not a stretch reflex. A stretch reflex in your example of the elbow would be when you extend/hyperextend your elbow, your bicep muscle is overstretched and in turn contracts, aiding in elbow flexion.

If anything, it sounds more like a muscle spasm or even cramp. Check fluid levels, electrolyte levels, and even calcium intake. Best suggestions I have.

-LH

When I go from arm hyperextension to bicep contraction it’s not aided, it’s impeded. It’s hard to contract my bicep after hyperextending/flexing my tricep. So it’s not a stretch reflex…but it’s something.

It just sounds like poor motor coordination…your tricep may not be completely relaxed when you try to flex your bicep quickly afterwards.

I suppose that could be it, would that carry over to the rest of the body? And how do I fix it?