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Thread: Dynamic tension

  1. #1
    Lung Hu Pai Guest

    Dynamic tension

    How does dynamic tension and isometric training compare to weight lifting? Is one better than the other? Can you acheive the same reults through both? Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks, Azar

  2. #2
    Ford Prefect Guest
    They are both proven strength gaining methods. Use elements from both types of training for results. If you can only do one, then I'd say train with weights. They offer more benefits neurologically speaking.

    "Who's house?"
    "I said RUN's house."

  3. #3
    IronFist Guest

    The fun debate of dynamic tension vs. weights

    Well, first by "dynamic tension" I'm going to assume you mean "going through movements with opposing muscle groups pitted against each other" and not "tensing the muscles in a stationary position (no movement)".

    Hmmm, you've no doubt noticed that many kung fu forms involve some type of dynamic tension. There are even a few that are entirely dynamic tension (Green Dragon's Stone Warrior comes to mind).

    Green Dragon claims that their forms not only make you stronger, but also make you stronger through the range of motion that you perform the movements (all the movements in the form directly correlate to fighting applications). Sifu Allen, the head of the company, is also a rather large man. So, perhaps his methods work. In theory, they will make your muscles harder and denser, but not necessarily "bigger" as thought of by weight lifters.

    Weights, on the other hand, will make you whatever you do with them. There are two other recent discussions on this forum that cover training with weights for strength vs. training for size, so I'm not oging to go into it here. I would say that weights are the least contraversial of the two, however.

    Each system also has it's own drawbacks. Obviously with weights you can pull ligaments, mess up your joints (too much weight or bad form), drop it on your head, and it's even possible to pop blood vessels if you get too much of a pump (don't worry, this won't happen unless you're juicing (that means using performance enhancing drugs), and even then it's very, very rare). Dynamic tension, some people say, can do bad things to you like increaed blood pressure, if you do it too much. I've even heard that it can enlarge your heart and stuff. I don't know how much I'd believe that.

    Before I started lifting weights, I had about a year of daily experience with Stone Warrior. I can say that I didn't achieve that much mass with it, but back at that time I didn't realize how vital diet is to making gains, so I feel safe saying that my progress was hindered by simply not eating enough.

    I would be interested to hear the thoughts of anyone who has experience with Stone Warrior on this topic.


  4. #4
    dmsdc Guest


    "They offer more benefits neurologically speaking." - can you elaborate???

    I primarily use weights in the context of dynamic training - like holding heavy jars during dynamic stepping, ankle weights during dynamic kicks, hand weights during dynamic strikes/counters.

    I also do iron bridge stuff.


    "I have been in
    sorrow's kitchen and
    licked out all the pots.
    Then I have stood on
    the peaky mountain
    wrapped in rainbows,
    with a harp and a
    sword in my hands." -
    Zora Neale Hurston

  5. #5
    Lung Hu Pai Guest
    ironfist, how does the "tensing the musles in a stationary position" compare? I also meant that form of strengthening too. Thanks again, Azar.

  6. #6
    IronFist Guest


    Lung Hu Pai said:

    "ironfist, how does the "tensing the musles in a stationary position" compare? I also meant that form of strengthening too. "

    Ok, first, "tensing the muscles in a stationary position"

    Example: You bend your elbow at a 90 degree angle infront of you and tense your muscles while holding your arm in that position. "Flexing your biceps" is an example of this.

    Effect: Dynamic tension done in this manner is effective for strengthening the muscles ONLY WHEN THEY ARE IN THAT POSITION. Bruce Lee would do curls using a stationary bar with his elbows bent 90 degrees. This will make his biceps stronger, yes, but only at the 90 degree position. Training like this has the least practical value.

    Now, "Dynamic tension through a range of movement:

    Example: Perform an open hand palm strike in front of you, except instead of doing it at normal speed, do it slowly, with your entire arm flexed for the entire strike. It should take 5-10 seconds to complete.

    Effect: This is moving dynamic tension, and is greatly more beneficial than the stationary type. This will strengthen the muscles throughout the range of motion that is involved in the palm strike, with the end result being added power through that motion (if the dynamic tension is done enough).

    That is what I meant by the two different types. Make sense?


  7. #7
    ShaolinTiger00 Guest

    Bruce's experience

    I would recommend the book "The Art of Expressing the Human Body" from teh Bruce Lee library.

    This book is an accurrate and detailed account of Bruce's experimentation and education that led to his ability. He discusses his sucsess with dynamic tension and the exercises he specifically performed. He also comments upon its limits.

    Although few of us have bodies like Bruce's. I very much admire his dedication and logical and educated thinking about the martial arts. he was not bound by traditinal trappings even where conditioning the body was concerned and found the best of both East and Western training methods.

    From reading the reviews, I can see that other people found the book interesting as well.

    A strong man controls others. A man who controls himself is truly powerful. -Lao Tzu

  8. #8
    grandfist Guest
    Olympic Style Weightlifting is the ultimate way to train for athletes and people involved in dynamic sports or heavy physical activities. You will develop strength, speed, power, balance, cooradination, flexability, competitiveness and toughness. If you are willing, YOU CAN DO IT

  9. #9
    SevenStar Guest
    Olympic style - as in powerlifting? If so, I disagree.

    "A wise man speaks because he has something to say; A fool speaks because he has to say something."

  10. #10
    Braden Guest
    Although Bruce Lee is... um... interesting... I'd think modern exercise physiology and methodology books would probably be a better resources.

    Unless you're doing it for rehabilitation, don't do stationary tension exercises on their own. They'll result in a decrease in vascularization of the muscle and utilization of mitrochondria in the muscle's cells. There will also be changes in innervation which will result in a slower muscle contraction when used normally. Resting blood pressure will rise. Your joints and bones will not develop (believe it or not - one of the greatest benefits of basic weight-training). All in all, bad stuff. Basic weight-training exercises address all these concerns when done properly, so stationary tension exercises are sometimes used as a good add-on to a diverse routine (although I still would never do them).

    A slightly better argument can be made for moving tension exercises. However, when these discussions come up, I'm left wondering: who punches with their bicep? Latent tension in your musculature WILL slow down your punches, create "interferance" in the propagation of energy from other muscles out to your extremeities (slowing it and decreasing it), inhibit your sensitivity, inhibit your ability to yield and change after "commiting", and increase the structural damage your body has to absorb when you land a strike. Essentially, you don't want to be tense except when and where you have to. Obviously, you need muscle tension to either generate or guide the propagation of force. Hopefully, you guys are generating most of the force of your punches in your legs, waist, and back. I'll even buy a triceps argument. But your biceps!? With all this in mind, why would you ever want to train your body to have tense biceps during punching? Or your forearms? Or the front and top of your shoulders?

  11. #11
    SevenStar Guest
    I dont' think Iron was advocating training the biceps to increase punching power. He was just shedding some light on one of Bruce's training methods. One which as he also mentioned had the least practical value.

    "A wise man speaks because he has something to say; A fool speaks because he has to say something."

  12. #12
    IronFist Guest


    Thanks Sevenstar


  13. #13
    grandfist Guest
    Olympic lifting and powerlifting are not the same.

  14. #14
    Ford Prefect Guest
    >>>"They offer more benefits neurologically speaking." - can you elaborate???<<<

    Sorry, I just caught this...

    What I meant when I said neuralogically speaking is that if you only practice dynamic tension exercises, you may be strong enough to handle a load, but because you're muscles/nervous system are unaccustomed to being taxed in such a way, your mechanoreceptors will tell your nervous to stop in its tracks. If you've ever been shaking under a heavy a bench press, you are familiar with the phenomena.

  15. #15
    IronFist Guest
    Bump for the guy asking about dynamic tension

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