The Art of Muscle Control was a staple for many of the old time physical culturists such as Otto Arco, Maxick, Sandow, John Grimek, Saxon and also the mighty George Hackenshmidt. When you think into the muscles and learning your own physiology, you’re finding out how your own body works in ways no one else can. In your workouts where you’re lifting maybe heavy weights, pull-ups, kettlebell snatches and/or working with Sledgehammer; mixing in Muscle Control can give you that extra edge in the flow of blood moving into the muscles and keeping them fresh and going just a tad longer.
I've been experimenting with this lately because I want to find out how I can last a little bit longer or flow better in my workouts so after I do a set of an exercise say swinging the mace 100 times; I would superset it with a muscle control exercise. There are many ways to do Muscle Control but my style isn't just flexing and relaxing it’s moving through an entire range of motion, this style is called FMT a.k.a Focused Muscular Tension kind of the Charles Atlas Tension exercises. There are a series of exercises in FMT and all of them require a focus on the muscles being worked so not only am I building certain muscular power in my training but also keeping my mind focused and breathing deeply so that when “Resting” I’m really adding more flow to my muscles by giving them oxygenated blood. This is one way to look at building your Chi or life-force in your body so you can keep your body going more smoothly, more focused and not just resting the muscles.
Deep Breathing is a key factor in any exercise because it can make a huge difference in how weak or strong you are. Correct Breathing with natural flow of your body’s movements creates a much more complete image on how you build muscle, utilizing the stabilizers and where you’re focused in. If you plan on doing this, experiment with your own style of muscle control, mix things up to get a feel for what has you flowing and keeping that “Strength/Endurance” factor that helps you down the road to burning fat, building natural and functional muscle and tendon strength.
When I say mix up I mean keep doing what you've always planned on training but after each set do a Muscle Control Exercise and mix those up and try different ones. This is after you've mastered the Muscle Control Exercises in and of themselves because if you haven’t you’re not going to find that same effect that controls the flow of your muscles and the blood you want flowing. At first these exercises may be a bit unusual and feel a bit weird but keep practicing, find the ones that keep you interested and fresh.