Does It Actually Do Anything When You ‘Pulse’ In A Workout Class?

by | Aug 28, 2019 | Fitness

Pulsing — i.e., moving a part of your body up and down in a tiny, repetitive motion — is a staple in barre, cycling and even yoga classes. It can burn like hell when you’re doing it. But have you ever found yourself in this bobbing motion, wondering: Is this doing anything?

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Good news: Pulsing is definitely doing something for your body — and it actually comes with some pretty legit benefits.

READ MORE: “This 5-Move Pilates Leg Series Set My Inner Thighs On Fire”

“When you shorten your range of motion, your muscles are contracted the entire time, versus a full-range exercise, where there is a moment of release,” says personal trainer Tiffani Robbins.

Translation: Pulsing isolates the active muscles and fatigues them more quickly, which helps build their endurance. Plus, you’ll get stronger.

“Staying in a pulse brings more blood to them, which can increase growth,” says Robbins.

But don’t nix your full-range moves altogether, since those activate the entire muscle group. In other words, as with most exercises, doing a different variation will score you different benefits. And the ideal is to have a mix of both pulsing moves and full-range versions so that you can experience the best results of both worlds.

For a balanced workout, Robbins suggests pulsing at the end of a move in your routine: For example, complete 10 reps of a squat or lunge, then pulse for 10 counts. Repeat three times.

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