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Getting more bang for your buck!

By Lewis Clarke

Blog by Lewis Clarke – Osteopath, at Pea Green Physio

February 2018

Whether you’re a seasoned gym-goer or a post-christmas newbie, it’s always good to understand which exercises provide optimal results for each work-out.

Here, within this blog, I detail exactly which exercises are proven to be the best for each muscle group. Each muscle has been studied under an electromyograph (EMG) to determine both the Peak Muscle Activation (PMA) which is the highest point of muscle contraction in an exercise, as well as the Mean Voluntary Contraction (MVC), which is the average muscle contraction across the  entire exercise. For this blog we show only the MVC as it is deemed to be the more important of the two, this is due to it taking into consideration the resting tension as well as muscles being on a slight stretch in different positions. 

The way in which the studies are performed, is by placing electrodes on the target muscle and then  going through a series of exercises designed to train that specific muscle. A reading is then taken both on PMA and MVC. As mentioned previously, we have only displayed results for MVC, but in other circumstances PMA can be useful in scenarios such as ‘sport-specific training’.

The tables are broken down in to areas of the body and then further in to muscles themselves. 

An easy way to look up the exercises would be to type them in to any search engine and an example will come right up. 

The overall idea is to create a tool and guide for your strength training. You don’t necessarily have to use any of these exercises, but it is always useful to see which ones create most return for your efforts.

Important Considerations 

It is very important to mention that although these results are somewhat specific for a general population. All people are not created equal, and therefore we should consider that if you feel that you get a better contraction on a similar yet different exercise, then please modify your work-out to suit.  

Remember muscle activation is not the end all and be all. Also consider other parameters for muscle growth – mechanical tension being one of the most important due to your ability to handle increased loads, for example, leg curls vs deadlifts. Use activation data to isolate weak points and get more bang for your buck.

For bespoke exercise programs for you specific injury, you can book in with any of our Therapists (Lewis, Ben, Jav, Steph, Helen) as they are all qualified to give exercise prescription, we have a mini gym on site for one to one training programs and personal training with our in house Personal Trainer – Rhys Jenkins.

To book, call 01869241411 or email us info@peagreenphysio.co.uk

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