Muscle Strengthening: New research shows it’s how often you do it, not how much

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Muscle Strengthening: New research shows it’s how often you do it, not how much

ReachMD is asking, “So, should I do muscle strengthening exercises a little bit every day, or for longer once a week?”

It’s a dilemma faced by many health-conscious people — and new research from Edith Cowan University (ECU) is answering the question.

This latest research indicates a little bit of daily muscle contraction activity could well be the most beneficial approach, at least for muscle strength.

And happily, it also suggests you don’t have to put in a mountain of work every day.

The four-week training study had three groups of participants performing an arm resistance exercise and changes in muscle strength and muscle thickness were measured and compared.

Sports Science Professor Ken Nosaka said these studies continue to suggest very manageable amounts of exercise done regularly can have a real effect on people’s strength.

“People think they have to do a lengthy session of resistance training in the gym, but that’s not the case,” he said. “Just lowering a heavy dumbbell slowly once or six times a day is enough.”

Professor Nosaka said while the study required participants to exert maximum effort, early findings from current, ongoing research indicated similar results could be achieved without needing to push as hard as possible.

“Muscle strength is important to our health. This could help prevent a decrease in muscle mass and strength with aging.”

Professor Nosaka said there needed to be more emphasis on the importance of making exercise a daily activity, rather than hitting a weekly minute goal.

“If you’re just going to the gym once a week, it’s not as effective as doing a bit of exercise every day at home,” he said.

“This research, together with our previous study, suggests the importance of accumulating a small amount of exercise a week, than just spending hours exercising once a week.

“We need to know that every muscle contraction counts, and it’s how regularly you perform them that counts.”

The study was published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports.


© Copyright WLL, INC. 2022. This blog provides healthcare tips and advice that you can trust about a wide variety of general health information only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from your regular physician. If you are concerned about your health, take what you learn from this blog and meet with your personal doctor to discuss your concerns.

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