How Does DCT Work?
The fundamental principle of resistance stretching is to strengthen the weak, sub-activated tissue, and open and expand the strong, dense tissue. By following this principle, DCT™ Practitioners and clients are able to restore balance to the musculoskeletal system, changing the way they move and reducing wear and tear on the body. This is achieved primarily by using the eccentric muscle contraction – contracting a muscle while it lengthens – which is inverse to the more commonly understood concentric contraction (e.g. biceps curl). While concentric contractions help to build strength in muscles, they can also contribute to the development of excess muscle tension. In addition to the concentric contraction, some other causes of tension imbalance include physical injuries, lengthy sedentary positions, and emotional trauma. While excess muscle tension can reduce flexibility, create “knots”, and decrease range of motion, thus reducing functionality, reduced tension and weakness from lack of use or traumatic injury can also cause joint alignment issues that lead to chronic pain and reduced function.
DCT™ exercises incorporate all three muscle contractions, seamlessly moving through the concentric (activation), isometric (transition) and eccentric (tension balancing) phases in order to address both weakness and excess tension at the same time. DCT™ Practitioners use proper biomechanical alignment (i.e., posture) as a guide to hone in on structural alignment issues caused by excess or deficient tension. Practitioners then follow the tension patterns through clear communication with their clients, utilizing their understanding of how and why tension, or the lack thereof, leads to postural imbalances and other ailments.
The 3 Components of DCT
Dynamic Contraction Technique™ uses three different muscle contractions in order to recruit, retain, and release muscle and fascial tension in the body.
1.) Strength Phase = Concentric Contraction = Recruit
2.) Transition Phase = Isometric Contraction = Retain
3.) Stretch Phase = Eccentric Contraction = Release
Strength Phase = Concentric Contraction = Recruit
To Recruit muscle/fascial tissue for the Strength phase of a DCT™ exercise a concentric muscle contraction is used. A concentric contraction is a contraction in which a muscle moves from a lengthened position to a shortened position under resistance.
Transistion Phase = Isometric Contraction = Retain
To Retain activation of muscle/fascial tissue for the Transition phase of a DCT™ exercise an isometric muscle contraction is used. An isometric contraction is a contraction in which a muscle is resisting but there is no movement involved. Holding an isometric contraction both increases the muscle recruitment and ensures that the activated tissue remains engaged during the stretch phase of a DCT™ exercise.
Stretch Phase = Eccentric Contraction = Release
To Release muscle/fascial tissue in the Stretch phase of a DCT™ exercise an eccentric muscle contraction is used. An eccentric muscle contraction is a contraction in which a muscle moves from a shortened position to a lengthened position under resistance. This is the exact opposite of the concentric muscle contraction.
DCT™ exercises, among other things, work to restore optimal muscle function, increase strength and range of motion, and improve circulation. Using DCT™ exercises, clients have been able to correct serious postural problems, mend seemingly irreparable joint damage, eliminate pain, more rapidly recover from orthopedic surgeries, and take their sports and fitness activities to the next level.
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