T Nation




In this article Louie Simmons talks about exercises that 'traction' the elbows, wrists and shoulders, I've also read an article in which he mentions that belt squats 'traction' the hips.

What does 'traction' in this sense mean?


Traction means exactly what it's definition states: the act of drawing or pulling; Medicine/Medical, the deliberate and prolonged pulling of a muscle, organ, or the like, as by weights, to correct dislocation, relieve pressure, etc.

Essentially, it is just drawing the distal end of the body part being discussed and opening up the joint space to relieve pressure, etc. So for belt squats, the weight is around the waist and pulling downward, so you are pulling traction down on the hips and to a point lumbar spine, opening up those joints/structures and relieving pressure.


Thanks Level headed.

The way Louie Simmons described them I guessed that they had a therapeutic affect on those joints but wasn't sure (hence this thread) I haven't read about exercises 'tractioning' joints before-though I loved belt squats and used them exclusively for my leg training when I was dealing with lower back problems.

Below is what I found when I used the dictionary on my computer...

traction |Ë?trak sh É?n|
1 the action of drawing or pulling a thing over a surface, esp. a road or track : a primitive vehicle used in animal traction.
â?¢ motive power provided for such movement, esp. on a railroad : the changeover to diesel and electric traction.
â?¢ locomotives collectively.
2 Medicine the application of a sustained pull on a limb or muscle, esp. in order to maintain the position of a fractured bone or to correct a deformity : his leg is in traction.
3 the grip of a tire on a road or a wheel on a rail : his car hit a patch of ice and lost traction.


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Thanks guys, so Traction is similar to decompression? And traction and decompression are good yah?


Whether they are good is dependent on the situation and the individual. Provide traction to an already hypermobile joint and it could lead to further injury.

So to answer your question, yes traction/decompression can be good in specific, warranted situations.



Check this out if you want better traction.