Rodney McBride

Successive Induction What's That?

Successive Induction What's That?

Successive Induction is a neurological principal I read about in a Russian strength training book that I have been using with great success with my clients and my own strength training program. Lets understand what successive induction is and how it can improve your strength and safety. 

Successive induction aka pulling the weight is an antagonist contraction of a muscle to help the agonist muscle develop more force and control. I need to define some terms first. 

An agonist is the primary muscle used during a movement. The biceps muscle in the barbell curl for example. The antagonist is the muscle that works counter to the agonist. The triceps muscle in the example. When one of the two muscles contracts (biceps) the opposing muscle (triceps) has to shut off or stretches to allow this contraction to happen. This is continuous until the action is terminated. 

Even though this is a natural act of muscle physiology there is also a missing component in the neurology that you can take advantage of. Instead of allowing the antagonist muscle to shut off, contract it. 

In the above example after the bicep pulls the weight up use the triceps to pull the weight down instead of the biceps. What this looks like is that as the tricep pulls the weight down the bicep stretches under tension. This time under tension or stored energy will allow the bicep to contract with more force the next rep. You will be able to perform another repetition or 2 than normal. This is successive induction. Make sense? 

Another example would be the squat. Once you are set up instead of just dropping straight down towards the floor use the hip flexors on the front of the hip to pull you down into the pit. You will be surprised how much more control you have, how much more stable you feel and how easier it will be to stand back up. The pit by the way is what is known as the bottom (parallel) position of the squat. If you need more instruction on the squat check out my blog posts Can You Squat (September 19th) and Can You Squat 2 (September 26th).

Another added bonus of successive induction is that the co-contraction of two opposing muscles around a joint will give you more stability. The more stable you are the more tension you can generate. 

Remember that one of the main components of strength training is the ability to develop tension. Tension=force. The more force you introduce the stronger you get. Successive induction is just one of many techniques you can use to make your nervous system more functional. 


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