Benefits of Eccentric Training

Author: Jane Jakobsen

Eccentric training has a place in everyone’s workout routine.  Whether you are an athlete or rehabbing from a cardiac issue, adding in eccentric training will have great benefits.  If you are looking to break through plateaus, prevent injury and work on joint health, give this method a try.  Just like anything new, add it in gradually and listen to your body.

 

What is eccentric contraction.

  • Deceleration.
  • The portion of a movement, where your muscle is lengthened.
  • Eccentric training can make you stronger in the concentric contraction.

 

Benefits of Eccentric Training

  1. Alternative or supplement to stretching
  • Create an isometric or eccentric contraction to increase flexibility and work on strength at the same time. For example, let’s take the basic Hamstring stretch, where you put your foot up on a chair or bench and hinge over at the hips.  Rather than hinging forward, you apply resistance by pushing down into the bench, hold and repeat.  We have recently added Stretch sessions to our PT department at The MAC, where clients are experiencing increase range of motion, better mobility and improved strength training workouts

 

  1. Faster Strength Gains
  • Muscles are usually stronger in the eccentric contraction.  So to work through plateaus in strength, try adding in eccentric movements.  One of my favorite eccentric moves for strength, is a negative pull-up. Using a pull-up bar, pull yourself up to the top of the movement, or use a bench for assistance.  As slow as you can, lower yourself from the bar until your arms are straight. Then repeat.

 

  1. Joint Health and Safety
  • If you experience joint pain during an exercise you may be able to solve this pain by focusing on the eccentric phase of the movement.  For example, if your knees hurt after or during squats, try focusing on going slow on the way down.  This will strengthen the quad in the eccentric phase.  In an article I read recently they discussed eccentric training and focused on the muscle as “Long and Strong”

 

  1. Reduced Risk of Injury and great for rehabilitation
  • Eccentric training is a format that uses less energy and more force. Because of that This tends to be a popular format of training for the elderly.  A study in 2014, showed more exercise adherence from the elderly population who were using eccentric training in their routine.  Because Eccentric training does not have much cardiac output, it may be a good format to use with those who are at risk or are in rehab for cardiac diseases.

 

  1. Increased Metabolism
  • A Study done in 2008 showed an increase in metabolism up to 72 hours after a workout that included eccentric training.  So in other words, you see more from the post workout return.  Simple idea.  Slow things down as you return to the start position of your exercise movement.

 

If you have more questions or would like to see how to add eccentric training to your fitness regimen, contact our personal training department, we are happy to help!  personaltraining@the-mac.com

 

News Segment on Eccentric Training

https://cbs2iowa.com/community/more-fun-in-the-morning/the-mac-fitness-eccentric-exercise

 

Sources:

https://the-mac.ideafit.com/fitness-library/five-benefits-of-eccentric-exercise

https://the-mac.ideafit.com/fitness-library/rehabilitation-breakthroughs-with-eccentric-training