Flex in the City
By Ken Hunt AFI Certified Trainer and Owner, Steel Gym NYC
So, who doesn’t like to see a great big flexed bicep or a back rippling with muscles? Flexing can do a lot of thingsâ€”it can intimidate someone, attract someone and while some might think its just vain, the truth is that isometric flexing can make a major difference in your rate of muscle growth. When you do it with proper technique and in the right combination with progressive-resistance training, you can flex your way to a better physique.
It’s important to do a full-body flex as often as possible. And that means flexing your calves. Now, I know that when people ask you to â€œmake a muscleâ€ they are never asking for a calf shot. Many people focus on the â€œbar musclesâ€; like the chest and arms. The point here is that a whole-body flex will result in muscle gains, balanced throughout the body
Flexing or “posing” your muscle groups DOES play a big part in conditioning and hardening your muscles.
When you see someone posing at the gym its not just to show off . Its actually part of a balanced routine. Flexing between each set (no matter what you are working) adds density, hardness, and etches in more muscle detail (visible if you have low bf %)…and besides this, it adds to your “pump” and conditions the muscle between sets.
Flexing when not working out conditions the muscle further, adds hardness and further etches in amazing detail (which will become apparent in as little as two days of isometric flexing, when your body fat % is low enough). You’d be surprised at how flexing and holding a pose for each muscle group quickly adds extra muscle detail/separation.
As an example, you can achieve great results flexing while lying in bed before sleep. You may have heard of a form of meditation that produces a relaxed state by alternately flexing and stretching the individual muscles of the body. With this technique you start with one muscle (no, not that one !) start with your calf. Flex it for 10 seconds, then relax and stretch it for another 10 seconds. Now do your left calf in the same manner. Keep on going up until you reach your neck. Focus on the muscle in question, letting all of your thoughts and frustrations from the day float away. After you have flexed all of your muscles in this manner, you will immediately feel a sense of overall relaxation. Finish it off with 10 seconds of full-body flex, and fall off into sleep. This system not only produces muscle gain, but it actually promotes good sleep.
Approach flexing with a positive frame of mind. Don’t short-circuit your potential for muscle growth with negative thoughts. The reason for flexing is not arrogance or vanity, but good solid muscular development. By flexing regularly and acknowledging your hard-earned gains, you’ll build confidence in your muscle-making abilities, which will lead to greater growth.
Flexing is another part of your balanced training program. Always find room for it at least once per exercise cycle. You can do it on your day off from the gym. Or if you feel that you’re overtraining, try taking the day off from your normal routine and instead do some flex training.
When at home or on spare time, go through your entire body and flex hard while holding each pose for about 30 seconds. Do that twice in one session and you will see that it’s a workout in itself.
Flexing both between sets and when not working out is one thing I have learned from the pros…..they don’t just flex and pose because they have a posing routine to follow, there is much more behind it!!! They know what flexing and holding a pose hard can do for their body and how quickly the benefits come from even a few days of flexing sessions.
Besides all of these benefits, flexing helps tremendously in establishing that all important mind-muscle connection , which is important for applying high intensity quickly and being able to make the intended muscle work it’s hardest during each workout.
You’ll find that your muscles will respond to this additional attention. And who doesn’t like a little more attention? Go on, make a muscle!