Workout Routines

The muscle matrix workout to strengthen your connective tissue

Strengthen your tendons and ligaments with this total-body workout you can add to your existing routine.

Exercise class doing lunges
Cecilie_Arcurs / Getty
Cecilie_Arcurs / Getty
Duration 45-60
Exercises 6
Equipment Yes

Sculpting healthy, well-rounded muscles doesn’t only require that you bomb them with heavy weight. (Though that certainly helps, of course.)

New science shows that light sets of low-impact exercises specifically target your connective tissue—tendons, ligaments, and the “extracellular matrix”—and allow for “improved energy transfer to the overall muscles” when you work them out, says Luke O’Brien, a physical therapist at Howard Head Sports Medicine in Vail, CO. 

In other words: The stronger and more robust your connective tissue, the stronger your overall muscles. But remember: This collagen-building workout should be considered supplemental training. Do it independently of your normal routine. 

Directions

Perform this workout at least six hours before or after your normal training. For example, if you lift weights at night, complete this routine in the morning. Perform four sets of 15 reps for each exercise, moving slowly so that it takes five seconds to complete each repetition.

The Muscle Matrix workout Build your body's connective tissue

Exercise 1.

Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift thumbnail
4 sets
15 (each leg) reps
-- rest

Exercise 2.

Standing Calf Raise You'll need: Box How to
Standing Calf Raise thumbnail
4 sets
15 reps
-- rest

Exercise 3.

Lateral Band Walk You'll need: Resistance Band How to
Lateral Band Walk  thumbnail
4 sets
15 (each side) reps
-- rest

Exercise 4.

Reverse Lunge You'll need: Dumbbells How to
Reverse Lunge thumbnail
4 sets
15 (each leg) reps
-- rest

Exercise 5.

T-pushup How to
T-pushup thumbnail
4 sets
15 (each side) reps
-- rest

Exercise 6.

Wrist Curl You'll need: Dumbbells How to
How To Do A Wrist Curl thumbnail
4 sets
15 reps
-- rest
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