Previously with plyometric style training we highlighted the importance of the “relaxation” component of the phasic , contract-relax cycle. Being able to down-regulate muscle tone during key sequences in various sport motions (most notably activities like running, throwing, kicking, punching ect) is extremely important in ensuring adequate speed of movement. However, we also have to consider what happens once you get “there” . E.g—you don’t want your fist to be a limp noodle when you’re trying to kock someone’s teeth out. This requires Tension On Impact. .
During the “relaxation” phase, antagonist muscles need to relax to allow for agonist force production . Upon impact impact however, agonist/antagonist muscle groups need to contract simultaneously to provide stiffness and stability around the joint, and allow for an optimal expression of that directional force from you-to-target and target-to-you. This is called a muscle “co-contraction”. I.e “the simultaneously contraction of two or more muscles around a joint”. .
Here @ericbocc demonstrates a novel way to train co-contraction speed on the supercat. throwing with two arms and catching with one allows you to create a High-speed eccentric overload. That’s not all though. Here’s the good part: In order to very rapidly “decelerate” that free falling load, muscles need to instantaneously create high-levels of muscle tension (MVIC or maximum voluntary jsometric contraction) , aka co-CONTRACT forcefully upon impact. .
Unlike most options available for upper body plyometric and power style training modalities, the supercat allows for these to be done in a safe manner that neither detracts or diminishes the benefits