Why “Slow Exercising” Could be the Next Big Fitness Craze
Slow exercising may seem puzzling to many who equate working out with blitz rep series, running on a treadmill, kickboxing, or other forms of extremely active full body exercise. However, slow exercising can build strength and flexibility for those who can’t engage in such forms of fitness, and increase results for almost anyone.
Much of the “slow exercise” data comes from the SuperSlow program, originally developed by Ken Hutchins of Orlando, Florida. He led a program investigating the effects of resistance training on older women with osteoporosis, which was important because the women were so weak that their safety was considered at risk due to bone loss.
The concept of slow exercise as proposed by Hutchins used light weights combined with slow movements. The women in his group made dramatic gains in their strength, and a fitness research director from Massachusetts decided to do two studies. In both cases, the groups who did slow exercise experienced a greater than 50% gain in strength. (The results were later third party verified at Virginia Tech.)
What is the Secret behind Slow Exercise?
The key to super slow workouts is that they never let the muscles rest. Each exercise is slowed down to the point that any momentum is lost, forcing the muscle to work constantly throughout each repetition. The muscles are worked beyond the shaky phase all the way to the point of failure (when the person working out absolutely cannot do one more repetition.)
Examples of Slow Workouts
A slow workout is the same as a regular workout – just about 5 times slower. Instead of curling a dumbbell in 2 seconds, and uncurling in 2 seconds, the recommended time in each direction is 10 seconds. Five repetitions at 20 seconds each is under 2 minutes of workout time.
12 different exercises to target 12 different muscles and sides of the body makes a total workout time of around 25 minutes. This can be broken up if desired, as each individual muscles gets full benefit whether you follow it with another muscle group or not.
Risks of Slow Exercise
Despite the intense nature of the workout, injuries from slow workouts are rare thanks to the extreme control exerted over each movement. Each exercise is challenging without having to push the body to lift extra weight, exert more force, or speed up the process.
The one thing to remember is that muscles need time to recover, so this isn’t an everyday workout. Most experts only recommend it once every 3-4 days at most, so make sure your clients know not to overdo, even if they find it tempting. As always, make sure your fitness trainer insurance is in full effect before introducing new workout plans.