As some of us work from home these days, it’s easy to sit around on the desktop all day then make your way to the couch after a hard day at the Home Office.
You say you have no time for exercise? OK No problem! A new study finds lifting weights for as little as three seconds a day can still have a positive impact on your muscle strength in the long run. Researchers in Australia and Japan found that performing a single bicep curl at maximum effort can lead to a 10-percent increase in muscle strength in just one month.
A team from Edith Cowan University and Niigata University of Health and Welfare studied 39 healthy college students who performed one muscle contraction at max effort for three seconds a day, for five days a week over four weeks. These students did their curls in one of three different ways, performing an isometric, concentric, or eccentric bicep curl during the experiment.
Results show that performing just one eccentric bicep curl every day led to the greatest increases in muscle strength in comparison to the other two methods
However, there’s one more phase of the curl, the eccentric contraction. This is when the muscle is lengthening as you lower the arm holding a dumbbell away from the chest.
Researchers found that all three lifting methods provide some benefit to a person’s muscle strength, but the eccentric contraction actually does the most for the muscles. Students performing eccentric curls for one month saw a 12.8 percent increase in concentric strength, a 12.2 percent increase in eccentric strength, and a 10.2 percent increase in isometric strength. Overall, people performing three-second eccentric bicep curls boosted their overall muscle strength by 11.5 percent after 60 total seconds of exercise for the month.