Dynamic tension exercise

What is Dynamic Tension?

Dynamic tension is an exercise method of pitting muscle against muscle, whilst using concentration, your mind and the muscle groups being worked, to create the resistance.

How does Dynamic Tension actually work?

You need first & foremost to know which muscle groups you wish to work, and then concentrate on those muscles. Let us assume you wish to work on the upper chest muscles. Extend your arms to the side, at slightly below shoulder height, and parallel to the floor, elbows slightly bent and palms facing inwards. Inhale before commencing the movement, which is to slowly bringing the hands and arms across your chest whilst exhaling through the mouth. From the start to the finish of the movement, concentrate on and squeeze the chest muscles as if you were pulling against an expandable band. On reaching your maximum point of closure, inhale and slowly and deliberately under tension as before open & extend the arms to the starting position, this time concentrating and tensing the upper back muscles. This full opening and closing movement, each full movement being referred to as a repetition, is done for a number of repetitions depending on your fitness level and aims.


Can I change the tension or resistance of the movements at will using Dynamic Tension?

At the outset, it is best to ensure that you are doing the movement correctly. Then you need to understand the breathing technique, where after you should start with say 5 – 8 repetitions at a reasonable comfortable resistance.

Where can I actually view some exercise movement using Dynamic Tension?

Click in to the link “Strength Exercises” for examples on exercises for the whole body.

Are Dynamic Tension techniques used for general sports training?

Yes. Most martial art exercise routines use the dynamic tension principal. An example is in what is known as the “Kata”. After a few short sessions to get in to the swing of how to use this resistance “without weights or bands” concept, you will be amazed how safe, effective and beneficial it is- and the positive results will be felt in days.

Does Dynamic Tension build muscle?

These exercises not only build strength, size, definition and endurance, but also make it nearly impossible for one to be injured as one's muscles provide the force, and as they tire, so does the force used decrease. It does not stop there however, because as a person grows stronger, the exercise becomes more intense. It is an extremely safe and productive form of exercise that can be performed anywhere, even whilst sitting on a plane or while watching TV.

Do I have to join a health club to do Dynamic Tension exercises?

No. In fact very few clubs will deal in this principal, as they prefer to make use of all the various pieces of equipment to assist you to do the exercises correctly. Dynamic Tension is a great system for the office – combine a few stretches from our "Stretching" section and then add a few Dynamic Tension exercises. Within a few minutes you will feel relaxed, fresh and rejuvenated.

Is Dynamic Tension used in Body Building?

Yes. Dynamic Tension is used by bodybuilders both in their training for posing routines and on the stage when they have to hold poses for maximum effect. In addition, during their training, they use maximum intensity most of the time which requires extreme concentration on the muscle groups being worked, and then they often give an extra boost of intensity at the end of each repetition. They believe in giving off 100% concentration and effort in the time devoted to their training, which makes sense, does it not?

Will Dynamic Tension exercise give me the same benefit as weight training?

We would suggest that for beginners, the unfit, women, seniors and kids, an initial course of Dynamic Tension is safe and an excellent stepping stone to the use of weight training equipment at a later stage. In fact it is often more beneficial for the reason that if the above-mentioned had to start out with a weight training program, they would of necessity have to use very light weights for the first few months and for good reason - safety. They need to become familiar with the correct posture, speed, breathing techniques and intensity. With a Dynamic Tension program they are able to place much more intensity in to the exercise from the outset, and they will be increasing the intensity in a very short time, with complete safety.

Will my muscle improvement be quicker using Dynamic Tension or Weights?

For the very reasons that are mentioned in answer to the question directly above, Dynamic Tension exercise is under-estimated in its positive effects. It can be made as intense are you are capable of making it. This is not so if you are a beginner weight trainer.

Do I use my own bodyweight with Dynamic Tension training?

Yes. Let us quote an example. You have surely heard of the exercise “Press-Ups”. We were all subject to them at schools world-wide. For most, it is a very difficult exercise because you are required to control downwards and the push upwards more that your total upper body weight. So let’s start with you on all fours. Now bend the elbows and dip only a few inches – and hold it there for a few seconds. Then extend up to the starting position as slow as possible. Repeat for say 5 repetitions. Similarly with a ¼ squat. Refer to our Exercise Routines with the “Stability Ball”. Doing even a ¼ to a ½ squat and holding the squat at your squat limit for a few seconds has a super effect both on strength and on muscle development.

Can I use Dynamic Tension whilst walking?

Yes. In fact Dynamic Tension is an excellent way of increasing the intensity on lower and upper body muscles during the walk. You will also notice an increase in the cardiovascular effect. Bend the elbows to 45 degrees, then whilst walking push the arms forward and back with an emphasis on squeezing the shoulder and arm muscles with a controlled reasonable intensity. Release after a while and then re-engage the tension in the muscles. As you can imagine, this principal can also be applied whilst jogging (with less intensity) and swimming.

Are Dynamic Tension exercises static or ballistic movements?

They are both. However we recommend the ballistic or movement basis for all as a start. At a later stage, there are certain muscle groups that can be exercised in a static mode.

How did Dynamic Tension develop?

Dynamic Tension exercise dates back hundreds of years. In the 1930’s it was popularized by Charles Atlas, who even registered the term Dynamic Tension as a trademark. He marketed his program and the title - “The World's Most Perfectly Developed Man" - into his Dynamic Tension course.