Exercising With One Arm Builds Muscles Faster 

exercise with one arm
Image by ZOE-Animation-Studio from Pixabay

The new study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Sports Science explains that exercise with one arm at a time is better in terms of strength building and lowest risk of muscle loss even if a person doesn’t move it. The study conducted by the research team from Edith Cowan University (ECU) was aimed to find out a way to improve the results of exercise with no compromise on strength and low muscle loss.

These findings are helpful for people who are unable to move both hands at a time during the exercise for example people with lost limbs.  They can do the exercises using one arm only.

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Some of the eccentric exercises use contraction of the muscles for its lengthening. For example when a person puts down his arm holding a dumbbell while using a bicep curl. It is also the same while he is sitting on a chair or coming down from the stairs. Other studies on exercises told that single-handed exercises help to grow muscles a lot more than concentric exercises.

Ken Nosaka from the School of Medical and Health Sciences (ECU) says that these results are different from the conventional approach for doing exercise. The standard methods used in rehab centers can be modernized based on these results and the life of injured and disabled people can be improved.

People who have lost any limb, leg or arm, can still do the exercise and get their desired benefits if these study results are true, Nosaka said. And by following the exercise plans using the uninjured arm only can save a person from damaging the other arm or leg and build strength, without having to move or shake the other limb.

This study used 30 participants all of which had an immobilized arm for eight hours/day for a total of 4 weeks. This group was divided into three sub-groups. Some of them were asked to perform rest exercises. The other was asked to try a combination of eccentric and concentric training. And the last group was not subjected to any exercise.

Nosaka shares that the group who was doing the concentric experienced muscle gain and no risk of muscle atrophy, in the other arm. Those who did eccentric exercise alone experienced results in terms of muscle building and strength in both their arms suggesting that it has a cross-transfer effect.  They also experienced the lowest muscle loss (2%) in the other, unused arm as compared to the group which didn’t do any exercise (28%).

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Eccentric exercise is a special type of exercise where the body lengthens the muscles using an external force which tops the force induced by the body muscles. It is far better and successful in terms of the faster results as compared to the standard concentric exercises.  Some of the examples of eccentric exercises are; putting the weight down while doing a shoulder press, moving the body down while doing crunches, going down while doing a push-up, and going down while squatting.

These results can change the future of the rehab centers using one arm exercises and muscle growth. For a better understanding, research on eccentric exercise and how they help to improve the motor function, muscle control, and movements necessary. All of this is important or people who have lost a limb due to an injury, trauma, or stroke.



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