The contrast method has been around for a very long time and as we stated before, it’s one of our methods when transitioning from rehab to performance.
By having an explosive movement right after a strength movement, we can increase the recruitment of the central nervous system (CNS) to fire more neurons in a muscle contraction. As a result, we can over stimulate the CNS and trick it into giving a higher output without actually moving maximal weight. This will increase our recruitment abilities of force in shorter periods of time, making us more explosive and stronger under loads.
Usually these parings are done with our bigger lifts at the beginning of a workout when we are fresh. We don’t want to wait till the end because our body will be more fatigued and not have enough recruitment abilities to fire on all cylinders to push the adaptations we would like.
Some of our favorite pairings would be a squat with a band assisted squat jump (shown below). The band assisted jump helps create an over-speed effect on the body, forcing us to move faster at each ground contact so we can learn to generate and utilize our strength in less time.
If we are moving towards more single-leg compound movements such as a split-squat, a nice pairing would be a quick split-squat jump (shown below)
As stated before keep these in the beginning of a workout with no more than 5 sets per exercise pairing. You may want to keep the jumps to 4-8 jumps and the weight that you are lifting at about 80-90% of your maximal load for 3-6 reps.
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Dr. Peter Dionisopoulos is the owner and founder of Dynamic Performance & Rehab. He has worked with many high-level athletes and military personnel, but his true passion is to help active adults maintain their lifestyle by providing information and potential solutions to their aches and pains so they can continue with the activities they love.