There are three different kinds of muscle contractions:
Traditionally the act of lifting weights is done using what is known as a “concentric” muscle contraction, this means a muscle is shortening while working against resistance. Concentric muscle contractions are the most common way to train muscles, build strength, tone up, lose fat etc; however, eccentric training is something that shouldn’t be forgotten.
Also known as negative training, this is a type of muscle activation that increases tension on a muscle as it lengthens. Eccentric contractions occur when a muscle opposes a stronger force, which causes the muscle to contract as it lengthens.
Let me provide an example for better understanding. During a traditional dumbbell biceps curl the movement of curling your arm up is “concentric”, which means shortening of the target muscle (biceps) while it contracts. When you lower your arm back down from the curl position the movement is “eccentric”, which means lengthening of the target muscle (biceps) while it contracts.
The body is forced to perform eccentric contractions in many common activities like walking down stairs, running down hill, or sports where you need controlled or resisted types of movements such as landing from a jump or a football player having to resist someone pushing against them.
If you feel you have reached a plateau in your muscular strength and hypertrophy gains, are an athlete training to excel or prevent injury in a sport with a large eccentric component, or are just looking for a new challenge, perhaps you should consider giving eccentric training a try.
There are millions of ways to add eccentric training to your workouts in Surrey, Cloverdale, Langley and all over in Canada. Get in touch with me at Michelle@CORE-Condition.com for more information and exercises.
Michelle Roots BA Kin, CSCS, PES