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Farmingdale, NY 11735

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Progressive Resistive Exercises

This is a strength training method in which the loading of muscle is constantly increased to facilitate adaptation. Progressive resistance is essential for building muscle and reaching goals. The body adapts to exercise and needs to be constantly challenged in order to continue to grow and change. There are many ways to achieve progressive resistance:

  • Increase the weight you’re lifting. Do the same number of reps and sets each week, but increase your weight.
  • Increase the number of reps. Use the same weight for each workout, but increase the reps each week.
  • Increase the number of sets each time you workout.
  • Shorten the rest between the sets.
  • Lengthen the time under tension – or how long your muscle fibers are under stress. Use the same weight and reps, but slow down the exercise. For example, 1 count to lift the weight, 3 counts to lower the weight.

Recommended repetition range is 10 to 12-repetition maximum (RM) be lifted in 1 to 3 sets, training 2 or 3 days each week. An 8RM to 12RM load is the amount of weight that can be lifted through the available range of motion 8 to 12 times before needing a rest.

Traditionally, PRE has been used by young adults who are healthy to improve athletic performance. However, recent reviews have emphasized the potential health benefits of including PRE as part of the promotion of physical activity in the community. The potential health benefits of incorporating PRE into an overall fitness program include helping to reduce risk factors associated with osteoporosis as well as diseases such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

The health benefits associated with PRE have made a useful intervention with our patients at SportsCare Physical and Aquatic Therapy. A reduced ability of muscles to generate force, due to injury, pathology, or disuse, is a common impairment seen at SportsCare Physical and Aquatic Therapy. If a lack of force generation by muscles is an impairment contributing to an inability to perform everyday activities, then we apply the principles of PRE when designing treatment programs.


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