🔥 NEURAL WARM UP – MORE POWER THROUGH POTENTIATION 👇
✳ Our muscles work together to control each other’s actions and stabilize the joints that they work on through co-contraction. So when one muscle contracts (agonist) the opposite muscle (antagonist) like your biceps and triceps; co-contracts through feedback. This causes the interneuron to produce a signal that causes the opposite muscle to relax. The main point here is that you’re opposing muscles re connected through your nervous system.⠀
✳ For this type of neural warm up we focus on potentiating which is the temporary increase performance due increased neural stimulation. This can happen after exercising or be done prior through “activation” exercises. However, it is usually done through contraction of the muscles used in the exercises. Interesting enough there is an effect when we do an activation exercise for the antagonist muscle.
✳ (Kamimura et al 2007) looked at the effect of antagonist warm-up on agonist performance by performing different intensity warm-ups for the hamstring and looking at the effect on the quadriceps strength and emg activity. Interesting enough moderate intensity warm up through isometric contractions increased the emg activity and force output percent of the quadriceps. This is thought to be due to either store elastic tension or change in GTO activity. IMO the potentiation of the antagonist allows greater eccentric control and stability of the joint allowing for greater force outputs. ⠀
We can use this for our training by performing moderate activation exercises for our antagonist prior to exercises we want to increase performance in, this is one of the reasons I like to perform some hip flexor exercises before squatting. Try doing some hip flexor marches and hamstring curls prior to your squat next time and compare the difference.