Muscle Science and Defying Gravity

April 27, 2021

woman dumbbells

We feel the presence of gravity all around us everyday. Much more when we are of greater weight. We feel the tug and pull of it when we walk on a steep incline or up a flight of stairs. We feel it when we do jumping jacks or any isometric exercises. That is including plank holds, wall sitting, glute bridges and so much more. Now we wonder, how does gravity affect muscle science? Do we benefit from gravity in terms of exercise? Can we incorporate it in our regimen and what is the easiest and most convenient way that we can do that?

The muscular system is an interdependent group of specialized cells called muscle fibers. What it does is that it gives the body fluidity in motion and contractility to allow particular  movements.These muscles are finely attached to the bones, blood vessels, and other organs. The muscular system also acts as a protection of the bones and all our internal organs. It gives the body stability and strength in doing everyday movements, like walking or opening jars. It also supports posture which is very important in bone health and sometimes also mental health. 

A lot of internal functions are also made possible by our muscles. This includes our breathing, circulation of blood, oxygen and nutrients all over our body and brain, digestion of the food we eat, bowel movement and urination to flush out toxins from our body, childbirth and support to the reproductive system. Our eyes and our capability to see is also attributed to muscles. There are six skeletal muscles around our eyes that enable us to control its movement so efficiently and precisely. That way we can track the movement of what we see, see colors and scan our environment and maintain a stable image sent to our brain to process. Body temperature is also regulated via the muscular system as 85% of the heat produced in our body comes from contracting our muscles. That is why we sweat profusely when exercising. As a system that makes up 40% of an average human weight, the muscles really are a very important part of our body that we need to maintain in tiptop shape. 

But how do we grow and strengthen our muscles by exercise? Some people not only look to tone muscles into shape but gain muscle mass and strength. This is called muscular hypertrophy. “Hyper'' a prefix meaning over, beyond or above normal and the biology affix “-trophy” which refers to nourishment, taken from the Greek word “trophos”. In conclusion, muscle hypertrophy is the growth above average of the muscles due to the increase in cell size. According to a study, resistance training or any exercise that incorporates gravity leads to a form of trauma or injury on the cellular proteins that make up our muscles. When that happens, our body sends messages to nearby satellite cells to begin a series of events that eventually leads the body to repair the muscles and sustain its growth. The body naturally adapts to the overload of stress on the muscles making tasks and exercises easier thereby gaining strength. The repair and growth of the muscles begins immediately after the exercise regime. However, the more distinctive changes often take weeks and even months for it to physically manifest itself. Hormones also play a vital role in the growth of muscles.

To build muscles, we really do not have to spend an entire day at the gym. Mostly, it would not be physically possible for most. The recommended training for the average person would be 20-30 minutes regimen for two to three times a week. Not only is this more realistic and physically realizable, this is also the healthy amount for the average body. A fitness regimen stimulates protein synthesis 2 to 4 hours after exercise. That said, you may not immediately see the difference, but it has been initiated internally within your body. 

During a regimen incorporating resistance from gravity like pull ups or weightlifting, you may opt to do 12 to 15 repetitions. This number of repetition would be one set. On average, three sets of these repetitions is good. But dependent on your body or fitness goal, this may vary a lot. Note however, that resting that particular muscle is also important to sustain its growth and prevent injuries. Even in exercise, slow and steady would win the race. That said, it is good not to do training on the same muscle group for two days in a row. 

With the current pandemic going on, it's hard to maintain our fitness health and keep up our exercise regimen. In some areas at some point, gyms tend to be closed as a non-essential place. But even though we are forced to deal with these so as to prevent the spread of the coronavirus,there are still options that we could choose at the tip of our fingers. In FlexiSpot, there are fitness products like the Adjustable Dumbbell LCL and the AB Foldable Rowing LCL that could give us the convenience to maintain our physical health in our own homes or offices. Our health is something we cannot put a price on. Not only because the cost of hospitalization and medicine has skyrocketed this decade, but also because it is not worth the suffering when we get sick. Prevention is and always will be, better than the cure. 

On the whole, gravity is an important factor in bringing about tension and resistance to muscles during strength training and the like. The muscles resist and undergo fiber injury. When this happens, the body also releases growth hormone in the pituitary glands. This is the glands found at the base of your brain. This pea size organ is a major factor in controlling the growth of the body and the healthy function of the endocrine system. When the growth hormone is released, it would stimulate your metabolism and turn amino acids in your body to protein that can be used for the growth of your muscles. 

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