“Dynamic Tension” is the name given by Charles Atlas to the exercise system that he first popularized in the 1920s. Dynamic Tension is a self-resisting exercise method that pits the muscle against the muscle. . The practitioner tenses the muscles of a given body part and then moves the body part against the tension as if a heavy weight was being lifted. Dynamic tension exercises are not simply isometric, since they call for movement. Instead, the method includes a combination of exercises in three disciplines: isotonic, isokinetic, and some exercises in the isometric discipline. Proponents claim that it is almost impossible to be injured during exercise by using this method because its own muscles provide strength and, as they get tired, the force used also decreases. Similarly, the benefits may continue beyond more traditional exercise methods because as the practitioner strengthens, the exercise becomes more intense. “Dynamic Tension” is a registered trademark of Charles Atlas, Ltd.
After being bullied as a child, Charles Atlas joined the YMCA and began doing many exercise routines. He became obsessed with force. He said that one day he looked at a tiger stretching in the zoo and asked himself, “How is Mr. Tiger physically fit? Have you ever seen a tiger with a bar?” He concluded that lions and tigers became strong by pulling muscles against the muscles. The story may be apocryphal, but it reflects the essence of Mr. Atlas’s innovation. There were many other “isometric” courses available at the time, and this only when Atlas used an advertisement depicting a bully kicking in the sand at the face of the weak sales that took off. Some other notable users of this method include Joe DiMaggio, Max Baer, Rocky Marciano, Joe Louis, Robert Ripley and Alan Wells. Specifically, dynamic tension is a technique very commonly used in martial arts. It refers to the “dynamic tension” applied literally using the movements of a person. Tightening the trunk muscles and applying dynamic tension allows a person to change the rhythm of his movement. Reconstructing such movements gives a person more power and speed. This becomes especially useful in execution or sparring. Take a deep breath, exhale slowly while tightening the muscles, and sometimes even physically shake the entire body part of the portrait of a stronger presence while one is performing. After the dynamic tension could be a series of fast movements to accelerate the pace. Dynamic tension is a universal technique that can be used on any movement or any style.