Yesterday we talked about muscle fibres but strength depends not only on muscles and their size. Ligaments and tendons are more important to strength than muscles
What are we talking about?
Ligaments - elastic band between bones that support jonts, guide them and limit their range of motion.
Tissues of tendons and ligaments contain collagen and elastic fibres. The former provide strength and the latter provide elasticity. The former outnumber the latter.
Collagen: a protein making the foundation of body’s connective tissues (ligaments, bones, cartilage, dermis) and providing stength and elasticity.
It is worth mentioning that collagen and elastin ratio differs from man to man, depending on age and body composition. This ratio defines what we call initial flexibility.
Ligaments are elastic and stretch during movements in joints. It is possible to develop elasticity through special exercises and increase flexibility.
Tendons connect muscles to bones. Their primary goal is to transfer muscle contractions to bones and thus move them. They provide foundation for all bodily movements.
Tendons are comprised of compact parallel bundles of collagen fibres with rows of fibrocytes in between. Bundles are connected with each other by proteoglycans.
Proteoglycans comprise primary matter of connective tissue that covers connective tissue fibres Proteoglycans have their role in between different tissues and serve as lubricant in joints.
Blood vessels are lined along collagen fibres. Thanks to this structure tendons are very strong and practically do not stretch. Tendons can be shaped differently, long muscles have cylindrical tendons, wide muscles have wide flat tendons such as aponeurses.
At the moment there is not enough information about specific ligament training. If you have any information on this subject, please share it with us!
In the beginning of the XX-th century, athlete Alexander Zass also known as Iron Samson was promoting his own system of static exercises with chains, subtitled with words “muscles themselves cannot hold horses pulling apart, but tendons can and they have to be trained and there is a way to train them”. He thought that lifting weghts is not enough to make a strongman. There is something more to that. For instances, if you try to bend a thick iron rod or break a chain, these repeated efforts are effecive for training both muscles and tendons.
More on his system and exercises is available here [link]
When starting training most think about training muscles first and do not think that other systems and parts also need training. However the body is a single system and to make it work 100% all aspects should be trained equally. Tendon training should be included in your training.