Can flexing build muscle without the need to work out? Potentially. To explain why, you need to under how muscles grow.
There is a lot of debate surrounding the effectiveness of flexing as a means to build muscle mass. Some people swear by it, while others claim that it has no impact at all. So, what’s the truth?
The short answer to whether flexing your muscles is enough to build is NO. However, there’s a grey area here that deserves some attention because flexing can help grow muscle indirectly.
What Exactly is ‘Flexing’?
We’re not talking about ‘flexing your drip’ here. In the context of muscular development, flexing means contracting a muscle.
Some people claim that flexing your muscles alone is sufficient to elicit muscular growth. They base their theory on the fact that muscles grow from contracting them consistently over time. This is because muscles adapt to the increased amount of tension that is placed on them. When you consistently flex your muscles, they will become better able to handle heavy loads, which can lead to increased muscle size and strength.
This sounds good in theory, however, building muscle as a bit more complicated than this.
There is very little evidence to support the claim that flexing alone is enough to build muscle. In fact, a study conducted by the American Council on Exercise found that flexing had no impact on muscle size or strength.
So, if flexing doesn’t help to build muscle, what does? The answer is resistance training. This involves using weights or resistance bands to challenge the muscle, which then leads to an increase in size and strength.
So, if you’re looking to build muscle, focus on resistance training rather than flexing. And, if you want to see results quickly, make sure to challenge your muscles by using heavier weights and increasing the number of repetitions you do over time. Don’t rush. It’s a marathon, not a sprint.
That said, flexing does have other benefits.
Benefits of Flexing Muscles
Flexing Builds Muscle ‘Indirectly’
There is some evidence that flexing can help with muscle growth. When you flex your muscles, you are activating the muscle fibers. This activation can help promote muscle growth. However, this only seems to be the case if you are using high weights and doing a high number of reps. If you are just flexing your muscles without any other form of resistance, you are not going to see any significant muscle growth. This of flexing is a way to prime your nervous system to carry heavier weight over time and/or do more repetitions (progressive overload principle).
Flexing Muscles Makes Them Stronger
That said, muscles that are regularly flexed are stronger, have more endurance and look more defined. Flexing also has a psychological benefit in that it can make you feel more confident and powerful. One way to make this work for your is to incorporate isometrics in your training routine. Isometrics, in a way, are a form of flexing, but you do it using weights (static holds).
Another hidden benefit of flexing is functionality. Use it or lose it! Yes, I’m talking about your muscles! Activating those neurons will help keep your muscle functional and healthy.
Better Muscular Recovery
Better recovery. Flexing pumps blood in the muscle, and blood carries nutrients. More blood means more nutrients in the muscle = better recovery.
How Do Muscles Grow?
Now, let’s go over how muscle growth actually happens.
This question has been asked by gym-goers and bodybuilders for many years. The answer isn’t simple. There are many factors that contribute to muscle growth. In order to understand how muscles grow, we must first understand what muscles are and what they do.
What Are Muscles Made Of?
Muscles are bundles of cells that contract in order to produce movement. There are three types of muscles in the body: skeletal muscles, cardiac muscles, and smooth muscles. Skeletal muscles are the muscles that we can see and feel, and they are attached to the bones. Cardiac muscles are found in the heart, and they are responsible for pumping blood throughout the body. Smooth muscles are found in the organs, and they control the movement of food and other substances through the body.
Let’s agree that muscular growth means hypertrophy. Hypetrophy is the increase in the size of the muscle cells. Hypertrophy is induced through muscular stimulation through exercise.
When a muscle is stimulated, it contracts. This contraction causes the muscle cells to stretch and to tear. When the muscle cells are stretched and torn, they produce proteins called myofibrils. Myofibrils are responsible for the strength and size of the muscles, and they are composed of two proteins: myosin and actin. Myosin is responsible for the contraction of the muscles, and actin is responsible for the movement of the myosin.
How We Can Grow Muscle Through Exercise
The process of muscle growth, or hypertrophy, is a complex process that is still not fully understood by scientists. However, there are a number of factors that are known to contribute to muscle growth. These include:
-Strength training: This is the most important factor in promoting muscle growth. Strength training causes micro-tears in the muscles, which then need to be repaired. During the repair process, the muscles grow larger and stronger.
-Hormones: The hormones testosterone and growth hormone are important in promoting muscle growth.
-Food: The types of food you eat can also play a role in muscle growth. The protein in your diet is essential for muscle growth, as is the intake of carbohydrates and healthy fats.
-Rest: In order for muscles to grow, they need time to rest and recover. This is why it is important to allow adequate time for rest and recovery between strength training sessions.
In essence, once your cover all of those elements, you WILL build muscles. Yes, this applies to both men and women.
What Happens If you Flex your Muscles for A Long Time?
If you flex your muscles for a long time, you will experience fatigue and eventually, muscle failure. When you work your muscles, you produce lactic acid. This lactic acid build-up is what causes muscle fatigue. When your muscles can no longer produce enough energy, they fail. Oops!
Does Flexing Abs Build Muscle?
Unfortunately, no. But, abs are also muscles, right? RIGHT?! So, the same benefits mentioned above are to be had if you just flex your abs. Not too shabby.
Here’s a great video from the guys at Mind Pump Media that covers the topic in more details.
Flexing alone won’t build muscle, however, flexing can help build muscle indirectly. Additionally, flexing can improve your mind-muscle-connection (MMC), recovery, and functionality. So, have at it and don’t feel ashamed about flexing in the bathroom mirror 😉