A Negative Plus a Negative is a Positive

Bonus points to whoever can tell me what movie the title of this blog is from…WITHOUT looking it up! 

Anywho, the great quarantine, I still haven’t come up with a clever name for this, has us all struggling with just extra time around the house. And, let’s be honest, you can only watch so many episodes of The Tiger King in one day. I know you’re all done with it already, but in one day it can only be so much. 

So, what is something extra to do? You don’t have a ton of equipment, only a few of you would choose to go for a run, what else is there? 

Well, one of the best things you can do is the negative of any of our body weight movements. The part of any movement that has the propensity to make us the most sore is the eccentric or downward portion of a movement. Why is that? Well, generally, it’s because we choose to use gravity to our advantage on the downward portion of a movement. Could you ever imagine slowing down when jumping down to perform your next rep on a box jump? No. It would be counter productive. This rapid deceleration  causes an excessive breakdown of muscle tissue due to the added speed the muscles are contracting with. This is also a major way in which we get stronger. By performing the downward portion of a movement. 

You can see some major strength gains by simply spending more time under tension on the downward portion of any body weight movement. This is what we call the negative. Get in a push-up position and lower yourself to the floor as slowly as possible. Get in a squat stance and lower yourself as slowly as possible. This added time under tension forces the muscles to contract longer. This causes more occlusion of blood flow which allows for greater repair to happen after exercise. Provided that you’re eating enough protein! 

Use the negative during this negative and turn it into a positive of gains!

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