People have asked me to make things shorter and not so technical so I will try.
Strength comes from tension.
The more tension that you can generate the stronger your body will be. Notice, that I did not say get stronger. You are already stronger than you allow.
Most humans don't try and contract as hard as they can when they try and move something. They try and contract only hard enough to do exactly the amount of work that is required. This is efficient for a survival scenerio but it sucks for trying to become as strong as you want to be. I am not talking about bulky I am talking about strong. Long strong dense muscles.
This happens by:
- teaching the body how to recruit harder.
- recruiting as many muscles as possible to do the work.
- ensuring that your trunk is tight.
The average human only recruits about 20% of the muscles total contractile ability. A olympic caliber lifter will recruit between 40 and 50%. (Pavel Tsastsoluine, the kettlebell guy has a great book on all of this.) This means that just by training the nervous system you will be able to pull, push, jump, run, etc. faster, stronger, higher etc.
If you can get 5% more recruitment now, without adding bulk or weight, then you are going to be much stronger and faster.
Recruit more muscles
When you contract a muscle, the ones surrounding it also contract. Most people don't use their trunk properly or at all. This is the center of you and so many of your muscles run through your trunk, if you don't use it you are missing alot of muscles.
If your trunk contracts your movement will be stronger.
So, if you squeeze your glutes or calves for that matter, the movement you are trying to perform with your arms will be stronger.
There are a few reasons for being stronger when you tighten your trunk:
- Hyperirridation (recruit more muscles, paragraph above)
- Intraabdominal Pressure
- Transfer or transmission of power
The more pressure you put into the trunk the harder all of your muscles can contract. The body feels more protected so it allows you to move something heavier because the "stop it receptors" haven't been triggered.
Think of the desk toy of steel balls hanging by wire and when the end is lifted and dropped the sort of see-saw back and forth. If one is slightly out of balance the see-saw action wont work well. The body does the same thing. If something is not in the correct place you wont be able to transfer power in a straight line. This will cause an injury.
Lastly if more muscles are recruited to do the required work no muscle gets overly taxed. They all share the brunt of the work. This means more work can be done. "many hands make for small work" or whatever the exact saying was, you get the point.
In summary, when you decide to train recruit as many muscles as possible and you will get stronger, faster with no bulk, and you stay in alignment. This means you have a faster road to better overall health.