THE ROLE OF GTOS IN MONITORING MUSCLE TENSION
The role of GTOs in monitoring muscle tension
Todas fitness blog looks at the physiological systems that make up muscle play an important part in any personal training programme and this includes GTOs.
Golgi tendon organs (GTOs) are proprioceptive sensory organs, located where a tendon and skeletal muscle meet. They are positioned in serial / adjacent alignment to the given muscle which opposes the more random and sporadic positioning of muscle spindles. They are constructed of fibres of collagen and connect to the central nervous system via its afferent nerve.
The main role of GTOs is to monitor the tension / force been produced via a muscle. They can also inhibit muscular contractions in order to avoid damage to both the tendon and the muscle when excessive forces come into play. GTOs feedback changes in muscle tension, caused by the contraction of a muscle or the lengthening of a muscle.
Although it is commonly reported that GTOs have the ability to fully inhibit a contraction this theory is not now fully supported by all parties. A more accurate representation of this sensory organs role is its partnership with muscle spindles working together to prevent the over lengthening or over loading of a muscle.
Because of the way that GTOs work, any weight training programme should involve a gradual increase in intensity for the best results. This way, the GTOs will gradually become less sensitive towards a given resistance and the contractile properties of a muscle can develop progressively with minimal discomfort and maximal attrition to a given programme.
GTOs also have a part to play in Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF) stretching. When a client is conducting a given stretch with the aid of a personal trainer, the GTOs will pick up that tension is building in the muscle and, once the muscle is able to relax, will allow the muscle to lengthen. The exercise can then be repeated with a greater range of movement.
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