Strength and Fitness - The Impartial Guide to strength, fitness, endurance and nutrition

Slow movement resistance training increases muscle thickness and strength

Posted on Tuesday, 8 January, 2013 by anthony

Recent research has provided further evidence for the support of slow movement repetitions for muscle building. In this study older men and women performed low intensity (50% of 1 rep max) resistance exercises (leg extensions and flexion) to working the quadriceps and hamstring muscle groups. One group completed the repetitions at a normal speed (1-second concentric phase [lifting phase], 1-second eccentric phase [lowering phase] and 1-second rest between each repetition) whilst the experimental group completed the repetitions at a much slower speed (3-second concentric phase, 3-second eccentric phase, and 1-second isometric with no rest between the repetitions).

The effect of slow movement resistance training on muscle size and strength

The researchers found that whilst both groups increased strength it was only the slow repetition group that showed significant increases in thigh muscle thickness. Therefore, for older individuals the combination of low intensity resistance exercise (i.e. 50% of 1RM) with slow movement speed (3-second concentric and eccentric with 1-second isometrics) appears to effective for muscle building.


Watanabe Y, Tanimoto M, Ohgane A, Sanada K, Miyachi M, Ishii N. (2013) Increased muscle size and strength from slow-movement, low-intensity resistance exercise and tonic force generation. J Aging Phys Act. 2013 Jan;21(1):71-84.

Back to Muscle Building News