Benefits of isokinetic exercise in athletes
Having the ability to control the speed of a movement introduces an entirely different load experience for the working muscles.
Traditionally, athletes are accustomed to working under a set load, or weight, throughout the range of motion. As the athlete works, speed fluctuates and momentum can be used to move the weight through the movement.
Take the NFL’s pro combine for instance – during the strength segment, athletes are graded on the number of reps at a set weight of 225 lbs. Sure, this is a level playing field, but we also see that players who have perfected the movement to achieve more reps. They control the weight until the bottom where the chest is used as a explosive bounce, creating momentum, allowing the weight to move more freely through the low/mid range of the movement.
Imagine if athletes could train their muscles to have this natural explosive ability, without the need to bounce the bar off the chest?
Our muscles are comprised of different types of fibers that are firing throughout a range of motion. Strengthening of fine fibers allows us to have greater range of motion, muscle endurance/flexibility and explosive power. These finer fibers are typically at max energy output at the low and high end ranges of a movement.
By utilizing isokinetic training, we remove the potential for momentum in a movement, gaining greater efficiency of these fine muscle fibers. This results in more explosive muscle potential throughout the full range of motion.
If an athlete is stuck at a plateau, sports science suggests a change of routine to create muscle confusion. Isokinetic exercise is a tool to help overcome these obstacles. It creates greater strength output throughout the full range of motion while also being the most efficient way to completely deplete muscle, leading to better results, faster.