Building Muscle with Dynamic Tension

Secrets of Building Muscle with Dynamic Tension

Can you really build muscle using dynamic tension?

For those of you that are not familiar with the term “dynamic tension” it’s the name of the system of exercises that Charles Atlas gave to his course. It became very popular back in the 1920s.

“Dynamic Tension” however, is not isometric exercises.


The idea behind this system of muscle building is to use your own body weight or resistance to pit one muscle versus the other. In some exercises, you would tense a particular body part and then you would move that body part as if you were performing an exercise with a dumbbell or resistance band.

Dynamic tension utilizes some isometrics, isotonic and iso-kinetic exercises.

The biggest benefit of dynamic tension according to some individuals is that it’s impossible to injure yourself while using this method. For some of the exercises you need 2 chairs to train with. This helps increase the resistance from just doing bodyweight only exercises.

This is a great muscle building technique and is part of every dynamic tension workout.

For example, in an exercise that Charles Atlas refers to as “dips” you place two chairs approximately shoulder-width apart and then you perform push-ups while dipping as low as possible between the two chairs. Once, you can easily perform this exercise – a third chair is brought into play – on which you place your feet. You would continue to perform push-ups in between the chairs just like regular push-ups.


However, let me reassure you, that they are much more difficult than regular push-ups and you get a great chest pump.

Another great exercise for building your triceps is the place two chairs approximate shoulder-width apart. You then place your palms on the edge of the chair and you do a triceps dip.

For building your back – you again use two chairs and place a broomstick or bar on the top of the chair and then you can perform a pull-up.Charles-Atlas-push-ups

For building your shoulder muscles nothing beats doing handstand push-ups. In order to perform this exercise you need to get close to the wall and then push yourself upward so that your toes are resting against the wall. You then lower yourself until top your head reaches the ground and then you push back up perform as many repetitions as possible. You can increase the difficulty by playing around with your hand placements. The wider apart your hands are more difficult the exercise becomes.

This is a great exercise for building the shoulders and triceps and it was used by many of the all-time strongmen for building their upper body.

These are just a a few examples of some of the best exercises for building muscle using dynamic tension.

Charles Atlas At Amazon

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