Though chain training is a trend in resistance training and weightlifting, the practice has been around for some time. Regardless of the way that you incorporate chains into your workout, the basic principle behind the equipment remains the same: chains provide a natural variable resistance while allowing full range of motion.

More specific benefits of chain training depend on whether you are using chains for resistance work or lifting weights. In resistance work, the principle of variable resistance applies as follows. When you hold chains or attach them to a part of your body, the resistance is directly proportionate to the amount of chain you hold off the ground. If you attach a chain to your ankle, then do leg lifts, the weight on your leg constantly changes as you move, forcing your muscles to work harder with each movement to compensate.

In weight lifting, chains operate on a similar principle: the amount of weight you lift is based on the amount of chain off the ground. Consider a bench press in which you replace some weight plates with chains that drape to the ground. As you lift the bar, its increasing distance from the ground lifts more chain, thus increasing the weight on the bar through the lift. For example, if you remove 10 pounds of weight plates, but add 20 pounds of chains, you are lifting 10 pounds below your normal rep weight at the bottom of each rep but 10 pounds more at the top of each rep.

When you use chain training with resistance exercises, the chains force your muscles to continuously adapt to varying resistance. With weight lifting, the chains allow you to lift more weight per rep by changing the amount of weight you lift within the course of each rep. Chain training is a simple way to increase the efficacy of your existing exercises.

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