Eccentric exercises for improved performance
With exercise and strength training, often big gains come from small changes and looking at adding eccentric exercises is one example. Focusing on full range of motion can lead to increases in strength, however, placing an emphasis on eccentric motion can unlock added benefits.
Concentric vs Eccentric
Muscle movement can be broken down into concentric and eccentric motion. Concentric muscle contraction is what you may typically think of with exercise. It is the standard contraction and lifting motion, when the muscle shortens and its two connection points come close together. This movement is acting against the force of gravity and improves the muscle’s ability to pull and lift.
The eccentric contraction is utilizing the same muscle, but acts in the lowering part of the motion. As the muscle lengthens, the two connection points of the muscle get further apart. Because of this, eccentric contraction is best activated by slowing down the lowering movement of an exercise. It helps to have a set time for the lowering action, in order to keep yourself on pace.
When starting eccentric training, you may find that you cannot use the same weight that you do with concentric contractions. This type of motion requires much more muscle control and is considerably more difficult with heavier weights. When training eccentrically with Bladeflex, start with lower resistance at first, and work your way up as your body adapts.
Benefits of Eccentric
Utilizing eccentric exercises trains the muscle in a drastically different way. Because of the way the muscle is constructed, there is more load applied to the muscle fibers. This can lead to greater gains in strength as well as the creation of more muscle mass.
Furthermore, by training with slower speeds, the muscles will increase their control and stability. This focus on slowing down also helps adapt your form and technique, decreasing the risk of injury.
This all comes together to help bring more diversity into the exercises you’re performing. By utilizing Bladeflex exercises, you will engage your muscles in a variety of ways and keeping them performing at their best. It’s also a great way to balance out the forces of the day, which are primarily applying concentric contractions on your back and shoulder muscles.
By changing your fitness focus to one with eccentric exercises, you will see some dramatic results in your physical health. As with any exercise program, make sure to give the body enough time to recover and recuperate after eccentric training. Avoiding overexertion is key to injury prevention, and building up a consistent, safe, and productive fitness routine is important.
Start with low reps and light resistance such as in this video, and move on to more dynamic exercises from there. Have fun, and enjoy the benefits of working on your body in a new way! Flex on!