Flexing enhances physique?
- 06-27-2008, 08:51 AM
- 06-28-2008, 01:31 AM
Arnold Schwarzenegger also advocates flexing between sets to not only increase muscle definition, and increase contractile quality, but to keep the muscle pumped full of blood to aid in nutrient delivery, oxygen delivery, and to ultimately sustain intensity. As do numerous other bodybuilders, apparently. From what I've read, supplemented with what knowledge I've attained from my physiology courses, I'd say that flexing between sets aids to reteach your muscle it's peak contraction point. Or in other words, the more you flex, the more your muscles adapt to allow a stronger muscle contraction before the muscle prevents continued contraction. For instance, if you try to flex your bicep as hard and as fast as you can, you're not going to be able to achieve maximum muscle contractile strength, due to the muscles inherent mechanism to prevent maximum contractions under certain circumstances (in this case, the rapid and forceful contraction). So what I'm getting at is that by flexing your muscles between sets, as hard as you can, for a sustained period of time (20-30 seconds, or even longer), your essentially reteaching your muscles to contract harder and harder than they were previously used to. And due to the muscle's natural mechanism to prevent a full contraction if contracted forcefully, you can see how important it is to hold your stretch rather than jerk it. And don't forget about the flexibility that comes with it. Even as you grow in mass, you can still maintain great flexibility if you consistently train with it in mind.
Something to go along with this... Mass is relative to volume. By consistently stretching and flexing muscles over a period of time, as the muscles stretch, they widen and lengthen naturally. As a result, you're creating more volume, which in turn can be occupied by more mass. Therefore, stretching on a consistent basis can work for you in the short hand (warming up before, during, and after a workout to allow for maximum stretch, flexibility and blood flow) and in the long run (creating more volume for muscle mass to occupy while progressively increasing flexibility). So yeah, I've been stretching and flexing in between my sets and after my workouts since I learned about this. I like it because I can keep my pump going between my sets, so my intensity is up, plus my muscles feel way better after a hard workout.
Hope that helped! Give it a shot and see how you like it, bro!
- 06-28-2008, 01:33 AM
06-28-2008, 02:22 AM
06-28-2008, 07:04 AM
Thanks Joshua86, very good write-up!
06-28-2008, 07:15 AM
06-28-2008, 08:14 AM
interesting stuff. repped josh
06-28-2008, 08:24 AM
06-28-2008, 08:57 AM
when i was in precontest i found felt that posing for time was the worst part. But i agree that is does, and in between sets will help too, feels like it will force the blood into the body part you are working. Pop in a bodybuilding show and just hold the pose as long as they do. It will help
06-28-2008, 12:34 PM
I always do DEEP stretches of the muscle group i just worked. I def feel it helps out..
06-28-2008, 12:38 PM
10-29-2009, 05:09 PM
I want to bring this up from the dead:
I've been doing this on my own, without reading anything, sense I first starting working out. I tend to flex my pecs habitually way to much and my left arm......
looking at pictures over time, my pecs have always been much larger in proportion to the rest of my body, and my left arm is almost an inch larger with a much greater peak....even tho my right arm is just as strong.
I must say, I am now a 100% strong believer in this...
Its almost as if flexing your muscles teaches your braind/nervous system to pay more attention to the growth of the muscle.
10-30-2009, 08:18 AM
never flexed after lifting, i would feel like a d-bag in my gym... but i do stretch and i will be kinda pumped before i stretch then after i stretch the area will be completely full of blood and twice as pumped. i use the DC stretches, it feels good in the gym but i swear it makes me more sore than if i didnt stretch. maybe ill go in the back room at the gym and flex it up after stretches from now on
CELTIC LABS REP
10-30-2009, 11:56 AM
would it be beneficial to flex througout the day even without a pump?
10-30-2009, 12:15 PM
my guess is it would help but not to the same degree as if you had an insane pump going on.
CELTIC LABS REP
10-30-2009, 12:46 PM
Yes, I think it's beneficial to include a lot of flexing and stretching. I've written quite a few posts about it though so I don't wanna give my opinion here... I'm too lazy today.
10-30-2009, 12:52 PM
haha, maybe if i wore a sweatshirt. i live in a town where everyone knows eachother it would just feel awkward to me. for sure tho my chest wouldnt grow until i started doing DC stretching, now its caught up to the rest of me, maybe even gone past it. but i really dont notice much with stretching my arms. maybe flexing is the answer for that.
CELTIC LABS REP
10-30-2009, 12:53 PM
It does help to keep you sharp. I didn't read it on here but another site. Most guys habitualy flex postWO for this reason. When you flex you usually flex more fine and small muscles than when you lift(in my theory)
I used to flex everytime after a WO when i got home before the shower. I stopped that after awhile and could tell a difference in the way i looked releaxed.
Strecthing will most likely make you feel more sore since you breaking the muscle down a bit further and weakening it.
I do soft stretches at the end of my workouts because i feel weaker if i do them pre or during and feel you are more suseptable to injury.
10-30-2009, 01:23 PM
flexing does help
~ IRON LIVERô________ *[It's just advice man, that's all it is! You can take or do whatever the FCUK you wanna do!]
10-30-2009, 01:37 PM
i own the arnold book you got that out of. u know ur **** joshua86 good post
10-30-2009, 01:48 PM
Flex in the bathroom or better yet at home.
God, plp already think BB's are vain as hell!
Would be okay if you WO at a BB type of gym.
10-30-2009, 05:33 PM
I've been flexing/stretching at my desk since I came back to read the responses to my question and it's given me a small pump and it also feels great
10-30-2009, 09:23 PM
11-02-2009, 09:28 AM
Another good way is while driving. Isometrics using the steering wheel. Resist against the bottom, sides and top of the wheel. You can work your chest, biceps & triceps. It's fun and hell, you've got the time, so why not.
11-02-2009, 11:17 AM
I've been doing this all weekend since I read this last week and I feel as though it's helped. Also been stretching a lot more but the flexing helps me keep a pump almost all day if I do it constantly
11-03-2009, 08:54 AM
Yes, it really helps. Keeps you aware of your physique as well.
11-03-2009, 10:25 AM
Extreme stretches are the ****! I'm pretty convinced that after a year or so of doing them, I've widened my chest a little. Not a lot, but enough to notice. My chest has always been my weakest part, due to genetics mainly, but after every chest workout, after my last set, I'll really stretch the chest. For instance, if my last set for chest is going incline flyes, I'll extend my arms and get a really good stretch in my chest. To stretch a muscle you need an opposing force, which is usually another muscle (the opposing muscle group), so when you let the weights do this, you can really give your muscles a deeper stretch than you otherwise could have. Be really careful though and know how much too much is, because you don't want to hurt yourself. I'm hoping that as I add more mass to the chest and continue to do a lot of flexing and stretching in my routines, that eventually my chest will look fuller and wider than it would have had I not done all the flexing and stretching. I'm sold on it...
11-03-2009, 10:27 AM
Oh, I was gonna add the more you practice flexing and stuff, the faster you can achieve a pump. That's my opinion anyway, I could be full of it! haha
11-03-2009, 11:18 AM
11-03-2009, 12:21 PM
You can flex at the gym and not be full on posing. I see people flex everyday, but yet none of them are hitting full double biceps poses in the gym.
11-09-2009, 07:59 PM
i flex and contract all the time when im working out. i dont look in a mirror i just walk around the track and contract whatever muscle im working. for instance, for the chest , i make a fist and put em together like im doing a fly and alternate from a pronated to a neutral position with my wrist. works very well i think. really activates the muscle fibers that may not be getting hit that hard and you certainly feel like your WHOLE chest is getting worked instead of just say the upper or middle or lower.
also, i move my arms up and down to change the direction of the force. if that makes sense. for instance, i can push my fists together a certain way and really blast my upper chest, then when that gets too fatigued i change the point/angle of my fists/hands and really work on the middle chest, then the lower and outer. it really works great. i HIGHLY recommend it. now, you WILL fatigue faster because instead of fully resting between sets you essentially still exercising but i feel that this lets me really "feel" the muscle that im training. works best for me when i train back and chest. i just walk around the track 1 or 2 times during my rest period and flex and contract and stretch my target muscle.
try it, you'll like it. and remember to change the angles from upper to lower etc etc. im sure you know what i mean. its easy and you get a good pump and just feel bigger. creates a really really good mind-muscle connection which i feel is highly underrated.
deadlift or DONT lift
11-09-2009, 09:31 PM
i still dont understand how u get a pump from flexing
CELTIC LABS REP
11-10-2009, 12:46 PM
The pump is essentially blood being trapped in your muscles. Blood is being pushed into that area faster than the body can naturally pump it back out. The heart pumps your blood forcefully through your major arteries, then through your arterioles, then into your smaller capillaries that run all through your tissues. Once the blood has passed through your capillaries, there is no equal force to pump it back to the heart. To get the blood back to the heart, you rely mainly on three things: pressure created in your thoracic cavity (via breathing), contraction of muscles that "squeezes" the blood along, and gravity. The force generated by the heart is still there, it's just not as strong as it was when it was pumping blood through the arteries. Also remember that the returning blood vessels to the heart have cusps that prevent back flow of blood.
So flexing gets more and more blood pumping into those muscles and because the body can't get the blood out of the muscles at an equal pace, blood is trapped there and what you're given is the sweet pump that may or may not be as good as cumming is, depending on whether or not you're talking to Arnold or everyone except Arnold.
Now, if you want to practice this in your routine you have to find the right balance. This is something that you have to find. Contracting your muscles requires energy, so you can't be flexing all day and expect to have a quality pump all the time. You can train to the point where you could go for relatively long time, but eventually the muscles would get fatigued. Sometimes at night or when I first wake up, I'll spend a good 10 minutes doing series of poses (flexing certain muscles or muscle groups) and stretches. Afterward, I usually feel really good, pumped and relaxed. A lot of bodybuilders do posing practice for long periods of time to get their bodies in top shape for a contest. I, along with many of you, I'm sure, have no aspirations of competitive bodybuilding, but anything that gives my physique an extra tweak in the right direction, I'll take.
So doing a lot of flexing inside and outside of the gym really does brings out extra definition and vascularity because you're making the muscles have to adapt. The human body is all about adapting, so if you given the body a reason to "need" to increase the capacity of blood vessels in a certain area, it will, over time with consistent effort. I also think it helps bring out those lines for better muscle separation, though I don't really understand the mechanics of how that happens. None of what I'm talking about will bring about drastic changes in the physique, though I do think it gives you an extra, obviously noticeable edge.
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