What Is Muscle Tone

Surely on more than one occasion you have heard about muscle tone, but it may be that you do not really know what muscle tone is. In the same way, whoever referred to this term may not really know what it is really about.

There are many people who confuse what muscle tone is with muscle toning, so below we are going to explain what it consists of and what hypotonic and hypertonia are, two terms directly linked to muscle tone, as well as others. Data of interest. 

What is muscle tone

Muscle tone is the state of tension in which muscles are found when they are in a state of rest. The muscles are always in a state of contraction and relaxation, continuously, which means that they can offer an appropriate muscle tone with which to carry out our day-to-day movements. In addition, it also helps maintain good body posture.

In combination with bones, muscles are what allow human beings to move, stand, bend, and do all other movements. Without muscles we would not be able to stand up.

It should be noted that muscle tone depends on each person, being determined by different factors. These include age, the type of exercise that is being done and the time of day in which we find ourselves.

In the event that it is night, the muscles will be more relaxed due to sleep, which causes the muscle tone to be considerably reduced, but when waking up again it recovers its normal state.

Hypotonic and hypertonia

In relation to the above, in those moments in which the muscular tone is diminished we can speak of hypotonicIn this case, the elasticity of the muscle is in an excessive state and has little consistency. The joints are not well fixed even though the muscle may be contracted. This makes it feel flaccid and too wide movements when moving them.

On the other hand, hypertonia is the opposite. That is, it is excess muscle tone. This causes the joints to be fixed in abnormal positions. Attempting to move them will feel resistance.

Both in one case and in another, the cause can be given by the muscle itself as well as by its nerve structures, which control muscle tone.

In the event that any of them is suffered, it is important to contact a specialist who assesses the development and carries out an exploration. In this way, proper treatment can be started.

What to do to improve muscle tone

There are infinity of physical activities that can be carried out at different times and places, from simple ones such as walking to team sports, cycling, swimming, etc.

All of them can help improve the muscle tone of those who practice them, that is, make them healthier, more flexible, and stronger and look better, among other advantages. However, the training that offers the best results for this is strength training, which is the one that intervenes more directly on the muscles.

However, before indicating a series of guidelines about improving muscle tone, you should know that the human body is made up of three different types of tissue (striated/skeletal, cardiac and smooth), the first being the one in charge of to generate force and allow the performance of physical exercise. This is the most abundant in the human body.

Strength training

To improve muscle tone, it is advisable, as we have mentioned, to do strength training, for which you can use weights, rubber bands, tapes, machines or your own body weight.

It is very important that the type of exercise is adapted to the possibilities and needs of each person. Strength can be worked in three different ways:

  • Maximum force: It is used mainly in the field of a more demanding sports performance, not being advisable for novices.
  • Hypertrophy: If you want to increase muscle volume you will have to work on this type of strength.
  • Endurance strength: This training is used to subject the muscle to make continuous contractions.

These types of training must be adapted to the objectives of each person, differing in the volume, load and intensity of the exercise. In this way, depending on the chosen training option, one number of sets or another should be done, more or fewer repetitions, a greater or lesser weight, different recovery time, different number of exercises…

In any case, to achieve obvious results, it will be necessary for the muscular structures to be subjected to greater physical stress than they are accustomed to, that is, to tend to overload. With them, it will be possible to promote physiological adaptation and achieve the desired changes.

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