Micro Muscle Movements

If you go to the gym then you’ve seen a recent uptick in last few years of fairly unorthodox equipment showing up.  There are ropes, tires, pull-up monkey bars, floor resistance sliders, just to name a few.  In the same vein TRX resistance racks are showing up and are in almost every major gym chain.

This all is related to popularity of CrossFit and more generally the now widespread knowledge that tricking your muscles is a much more effective way to get results from your workouts. The idea here is related to Micro Muscle Movements.  Imagine a muscle as a piece of thick rubber banding that you can stretch. Over time as you stretch it lengthwise, it will gradually take shape in that direction.  Now imagine that instead of stretching it the same way every time, you started pulling it in random directions. You pull it from the sides, diagonally, twisting it, and kneading, until every possible combination of movements had been accomplished and the band was now formed in all directions.  If you think about your muscles in this way, its no wonder this “new” form of working out has gained such popularity.

When you pull your self up, push or pull using random resistance, or flip an industrial sized tire, every micro muscle fiber is getting a varied micro workout, over time you get stronger.  Now think about a series of weight machines that target one specific muscle. Yes that muscle is getting worked, and yes is it sore, and you may see results, but for real strength over time and genuine long term health, Micro Muscle Movements are far superior to traditional weight lifting machines or localized lifting.

Extending the Micro Muscle Movement concept to cardiovascular workouts, there is a striking difference.  Imagine you spend one hour 3 times a week on an elliptical or rowing machine, sure your burning calories, but your body is doing the same repeated motion, your are working the same muscles, and as they grow, you’ll burn fewer calories over time, because your body won’t be working as hard.  Now imagine you used that same hour and ran a mile long course that involved jumping, climbing, and carrying objects.  Try this new way of doing cardio for a month and you’ll see an exponential change in your body and a huge improvement to your long term health.