Posts Tagged ‘Dynamic Tension’

Creative Commons Licensed Image

Creative Commons Licensed Image

If you had a leaky faucet and a plumber came out and announced they were done when they’d only fixed 35% of the leak, you’d be mad!

If you went to the operating room for an appendectomy and they only took out 35% of your problematic appendix, you’d still be sick!

If you opened your pay stub and found you’d only received 35% of the money you thought you had earned, you’d be pretty steamed!

When you expect 100% effectiveness but learn later you’re only being 35% effective, you suddenly realize something has to change…

That’s precisely the point Dr. Schwartz was trying to make about “panaerobic” exercise whether you’re talking about “HeavyHands“, “IsoTonoMetrics” or “LongStrength” Bodyweight exercises.

When you’re trying to get the best overall results from aerobic exercise but only exercise your LEGS, you’re only operating at 35% effectiveness.

Why? The legs ARE powerful aerobic “drivers” to be sure, but they only comprise about 35% of the body’s whole muscle mass.

The person who is able to harness both the LEGS and UPPER BODY MUSCLES (the other 65% of the body’s muscle structure) in their exercise will be able to generate far more work, process far more oxygen, burn more calories, maintain more lean muscle mass, and do so with less “perceived exertion” than the person trying to accomplish the same thing using their legs alone.

Many exercise systems target the “whole body” in one way or another, but Panaerobics are unique in their self-conscious attempt to harness all four limbs (or as much muscle mass as possible) simultaneously during exercise! In Panaerobics while any particular move may emphasize various sectors of the body at a given time… such as a “pump and walk” which tents to emphasize the biceps and shoulders along with the muscles used to walk … there are no “Panaerobic Isolation Exercises”. Users are encouraged to “spread out” their activity so that a “pump and walk” routine becomes increasingly mixed with other elements to engage more and different muscle groups… like the “Duck Walk” which activates the front of the thigh (the quadriceps) much more effectively than ordinary walking while swinging the HeavyHands high to activate a different set of shoulder and upper back muscles while processing even more oxygen than ordinary walking could ever hope to!

HeavyHands DuckWalk

HeavyHands DuckWalk

In Panaerobics, even small – seemingly insignificant changes – can make all the difference in the world for aerobic effectiveness and muscle activation. Those who “carry” weights at their sides while walking receive almost no benefit. Those who move the weights to hip level (“Level 1”) begin to receive some benefit. Moving the weights to shoulder height (“Level 2”) begins to produce a strong cardio-respiratory response while moving the weights to head height or above (“Level 3” or more) produces the utmost in cardiac response during exercise.

In the same way, small weights lifted high while walking  can produce as much or more actual “work” than lifting heavier weights more slowly!

As Dr. Schwartz’ books testify, dozens (if not hundreds) of possible movements are available to exercise as close to 100% of the body’s musculature as possible in a given workout!

By creeping forward at a snail’s pace while performing the “Swing and Sway” with HeavyHands, Dr. Schwartz estimated he could burn over 1,900 calories per mile! That’s a far cry from the traditional expectation that the average person burns about 100 calories per mile! Panaerobics “change the game” and create new opportunities for fitness and for fun while exercising.

Oddly enough, even doing lower body movements while doing what are otherwise called “dynamic tension” or “self-resistance” movements can have profound panaerobic results that can provide more aerobic training than running while building upper body strength! Like the hand movements with weights, the higher the arms move upward under tension while the lower body moves, the greater the aerobic benefit along with the strength benefit for the upper body.

One type of movement that was not stressed by Dr. Schwartz so much while discussing Heavyhands actions were Circumferential and Figure 8 movements. The first refers mainly to torso and body twisting during movements to stimulate the abdomen (obliques) encouraging the arm movements to “wrap around” the body. That term can also apply as the arms move in circular patterns behind or in front of the head while bending from  the waist from the 10 to 2 position on the face of a clock … or even more deeply perhaps.

Handclasps

Handclasps

Figure 8’s refer primarily to the pattern of the “handtrail” created by the “handclasp”. Moving the locked hands in a Figure 8 pattern allow more muscles to be engaged than simply a straight movement which travels either vertically or horizontally. Depending on the weight though, light HeavyHands can be used in Figure 8 patterns as Dr. Schwartz is often depicted as doing in his books!

The question remains… are you settling for a 35% solution when you could workout out much more effectively by engaging as much muscle as possible by performing Panaerobics?

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charlesatlas

 Charles Atlas performing a “Dynamic Tension Exercise” Image Courtesy © Charles Atlas, LTD

In a recent post the way in which Leonard Schwartz’ “IsoTonoMetrics” related to Charles Atlas and Dynamic Tension was mentioned.

Since then, some new information has come to light from Dr. Schwartz’ “Fitness Method” patent that is worth sharing on this topic, especially if people want to understand the inner dynamics of Schwartz’ “IsoTonoMetrics” and practice it for themselves.

Remember that in Schwartz’ IsoTonoMetrics, the hands are clasped or otherwise pushing together or pulling apart in various ranges of motion to activate different upper body muscles.

Bends, knee dips, torso twists, steps, head and neck rotations, various dance like moves, lunges, posture changes, body positions and toe raises are used to create a “whole body” aerobic exercise.

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handclasps2

Isotonometric Handclasps

In a previous post on Isotonometrics, the question was asked: “So was this “isometrics”? Or “dynamic tension”? Or something else? That will be explored in a future article!” This is that article.

Dr. Schwartz’s extant writings interact from time to time with the systems advocated by other fitness experts who are mentioned by name, like Charles Atlas.  He is always courteous but clear about how his viewpoint differs and what advantages he believes it to have.

So how did Leonard Schwartz see his work in relationship to Charles Atlas’ “dynamic tension” and “isometrics’? The answer is found in his patent filing on “Fitness Method” with some observations drawn from the Charles Atlas course itself.

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