What is “Tension” and why is it important when lifting weights?
The importance of “Tension” when lifting weights.
If you ever watch a PowerLifting competition or watch PowerLifters train you will always hear them say things like “Get Tight” or “More Tension”.
What is tension and how can this help unlock your strength potential?
Tension is applying maximum force to your muscles and essential trying to turn them into stone. When you are lifting weights you have to learn to create full body muscle tension to increase strength and minimize the chances of recovery.
Lets talk about your core and how to brace to immediately get stronger.
If I was to make a motion that I was going to punch in the stomach your automatic reaction is to bare down and get your core as tight as possible to absorb the blow. This is creating tension, and for your core it’s known as bracing.
When you lift the goal is to get everything tight. This starts from your toes and works throughout your body all the way to the fingers. Learning tension will make you immediately stronger and safer.
To create maximum tension you want to have a solid set up.
Lets look at a deadlift.
You want to go through the set up process step by step. Set your feet and drive them into the ground and push the floor away.
Once you set your feet then you want to load up your hips and hamstrings with a hip hinge, get your core tight and brace like someone is going to punch you in the belly.
Lock in your lats as tight as possible, think there is a piece of paper under your armpits and you don’t want to have it slip out.
Finally get a white knuckle grip and turn your whole body into stone before you lift.
Creating full body tension is known as “getting tight”. The more fully body tension you can create the stronger you will be.
Learning to create tension is a skill that can be practiced. The heavier the lift the more tension you need to create.
Rob King is a Competitive PowerLifter, Coach and Writer.