Being strong and knowing your mechanical advantage is an important aspect of our efforts in the gym. We all want to feel powerful and know that our body is capable of performing tasks that many others can’t do. When it comes to strength, much of what we posses lies within our structures, our muscle origins and insertions along with our fulcrum points.
When we focus in on improving upon our biomechanics, within the movement selections we have made, that’s when we will experience significant new gains in strength. There are three ways you can easily improve your mechanical advantage when executing exercises and when you have successfully included these strategies into your training, great results lie ahead.
Step One: Find the Most Challenging Exercises
Many of us are guilty of staying away from certain exercises simply because we don’t like them. A lot of the reason behind our not liking certain movements has to do with how taxing they are on us when performed. Many of the compound movements you can use while training yield this and when you avoid them, you are shortchanging yourself in matters of improving mechanical advantage.
One of the best reasons for utilizing compound movements is the synergistic effect of all parts working together for total body strength. If you can maximize this, then strength will improve. So rather than taking the ‘easier’ route with exercise selection, stick to the hard stuff for a greater chance at accruing new strength.
Step Two: Get Stronger in Most Disadvantaged Position
Our natural tendency when lifting weights is to align our body so that it is in the most advantaged position possible to move a weight. That isn’t always a good thing. Sure, if you’re a strength athlete and moving a weight from point a to point b is all that matters, then do what feels natural and strong.
However, if you’re someone who is looking to build new strength, new muscle and get better in newer lifts, then find your weakest position within that movement and use that as your starting point for each rep you complete.
If you can get stronger in your most disadvantaged position, think about how strong you will be when you revert back to your natural alignment for that movement. Improve your mechanical advantage.
Step Three: Work the Angles For Your Mechanical Advantage
Your biomechanics and how your lever systems and joints work, all play a major role in how strong you will be able to get, your mechanical advantage. If you are always working an exercise from the same fulcrum and lever points, then there will be no reason for your structure to acclimate by getting stronger to any other position.
That’s why it’s imperative you train from multiple angles within all of your exercises. Remember, many of your joints are designed to move in many different directions, so getting stronger in movement within all of those directions will only serve you well in your quest for attaining overall new strength.
If strength is important to you, and of course it should be, then you are going to want to do everything in your power (pun intended) to improve upon this. Taking the necessary steps to enhance your mechanical advantage in your lifts will prove prudent in your approach to training.
Get comfortable feeling weak in certain positions, do the exercises you’ve been skipping out on and try new angles with old lifts and watch what happens with your strength. You will be very happy with your progress and have a stronger body overall for it.
Author: Dana Bushell
Gym Star Team Member