Most people only think about the concentric or lifting phase of a rep, but the eccentric or lowering phase is actually just as important—if not more so. That's why we use stretch-pause reps to create more muscle tension and growth. In this blog post, we'll discuss how to perform stretch-pause reps effectively, and how they can benefit you!
WHATS A STRETCH PAUSE REP?
First, let's talk about what stretch-pause reps are. As the name implies, these reps involve pausing at the stretched position of a lift. This is typically done by lowering the weight slowly and under control until you reach a point where your muscles are fully lengthened. From there, you'll pause for two to three seconds before returning to the starting position.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
One of the benefits of stretch-pause reps is that they create more muscle tension than traditional lifting techniques. By pausing in the stretched position, you're able to put your muscles under maximum tension, which can lead to greater muscle growth. Additionally, stretch-pause reps can help to increase your range of motion over time, which can lead to better results in the long run.
HOW TO PERFORM . . .
Now that we've talked about what stretch-pause reps are and how they can benefit you, let's discuss how to perform them effectively. First, it's important to use a weight that is heavy enough to challenge your muscles but not so heavy that you can't control the movement. Generally a weight you can do for 8-12 reps. Hold the position of greatest stretch for 3 seconds on each rep, giving you the greatest stretch possible. Plan on doing 6 reps with that weight. Don't skip time on your pause when you get fatigued. Feel free to use different variations (Dumbbells, Bench Press, Stiff leg DLs, etc.)
As you become more comfortable with the movement, you can increase the number of sets and reps as needed. Just be sure to listen to your body and don't push yourself too hard—stretch-pause reps should be challenging but not painful.
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