I’m all for trying the newest and the best modern workouts. but part of Build a fun fitness routine that too* Delivers great results Includes back to basics. I’m speaking The basics—On the other hand, learn the basics of how your body and muscles move. Enter: eccentric, concentric and isometric movements.
Allow me to explain. First, your muscles contract in three different ways: eccentric, concentric and isometric. Here’s what each of these terms means:
- strange The movements occur when the muscles are lengthened.
- Concentric The movements happen when your muscles contract.
- isometric When the muscles are in a stationary position (not moving).
You’ll likely encounter all three types during your workouts, too. “Eccentric exercise lengthens muscles under tension or load, or decreases slowly against gravity,” explains Kimberly Wolf King, PT, DPT. Spoon physiotherapy. Meanwhile, “the center is power generation, so it makes the muscles shorter.” One of the most common examples of a file eccentric The exercise is reduced to a squataccording to Tatiana Lamba, CPT, a personal trainer, corrective exercise specialist, and innovator Training with T. a program.
Get a full breakdown of eccentric training, including seven expert-recommended ways to incorporate eccentric training into your workout routine, here.
Benefits of decentralized training
Here’s why it matters: Decentralized exercises can target your entire body (yes, every muscle group), and have some major benefits for strength training, running, and yoga—just to name a few great perks. Focusing on eccentric movement in your exercise routine can also:
- Reduce the risk of injury
- Stability improvement
- Enhance your body Anti-inflammatory responses
- Stability improvement
- Improve the effectiveness of your workouts
You’re probably familiar with the strange movement, even if you don’t realize it. “Actually, everything we do — if we just get out of bed and walk to the kitchen in the morning — it’s all our bodies’ way of doing an eccentric load,” says Wolf King. “Otherwise, we will collapse against gravity.”
In addition to keeping your body upright and in motion, eccentric movements have a lot of other benefits. Decentralized training can help prevent injuries Because it strengthens the muscle-tendon junctions (or places where tendons attach your muscles to your bones), says Wolf-King.
There is research to prove it. Decentralized exercises stimulate production collagenThe substance that helps strengthen tendons and other tissues, according to a recent study in Journal of functional morphology and kinesiology.
Eccentric movements are also great at helping your body produce anti-inflammatory responses, Wolf-King adds. Eccentric exercise sends a signal to your body to produce more anti-inflammatory substances like cytokines, in a 2021 study in Open International Sports Medicine.
Everyone can get a boost from focusing on eccentric training, but especially if you do it Strength training, per Wolf King and Lampa. “If you’re going to lift weight, you’re going to have to lose that weight,” says Wolf King. Training your muscles will help stretch your body shape and help prevent future injury. Moreover, decentralized training is best for building muscle size And Strength from focused training, according to research published in Journal of Applied Physiology.
The benefits of decentralized training extend beyond the weight room. Practice involves stabilizing your muscles and staying in certain poses while gravity works against you, which is a big plus on a yoga mat, says Wolf-King. Additionally, eccentric exercise is also an effective way to improve lower extremity flexibility, according to a 2014 review of related research published in British Journal of Sports Medicine.
Lamba says runners or others who focus on cardio (hello, exercise enthusiasts) may notice an improvement in their performance after going through some odd moves.
Possible risks with decentralized exercises
First of all, it’s always important to get approval from a medical professional (be it your doctor or a physical therapist) before beginning any new exercise program, notes Wolf-King. Be especially careful if you have any injuries or conditions that affect your muscles or joints.
She adds that when trying eccentric exercises, make sure you focus on proper form. Otherwise, you risk causing severe tension in the joints, which can lead to injuries.
“This is really important for anyone who is rehabilitating their body,” says Lamba. If you’re recovering, eccentric movements can help you get back on your feet ASAP (again, with the doctor out!).
How to add eccentric exercise to your routine
Now that you have a long list of reasons to do weird exercises, you may be wondering how to add them to your workouts. Start slowly: Lamba recommends focusing on eccentric movements (the extended part of the movement) once or twice each week. Foundational moves you may be already familiar with, such as the squat and Push-ups , A great place to start.
And listen to your body. If you’re new to eccentric training, Lamba says you should expect some sore muscles after your sweat session ends (Research This is also supported). “It will probably take a day or two to recover from this pain,” she explains. But, she adds, feeling sore is a sign that you’re doing it right — your body isn’t used to the movements yet.
Best eccentric exercises to add to your workouts
If you’re ready to take the plunge, Lamba suggests starting with these seven weird exercises. for every movement, Do three sets of five to ten reps each, Depending on how heavy your load is. and always Exhale on effort.
- Start with a hip-width distance between the legs.
- Bend your knees as you slowly sit back, keeping your chest elevated, until your thighs are parallel to the floor (or as far as you can sit without raising your heels, your chest drops forward, and/or your knees follow away from your ankles).
- Return to standing.
Make it eccentric: Take three seconds to squat (eccentric phase), and take one second to return (central phase).
Level Up: Hold a weight on your chest.
- While holding a dumbbell or a bell, place your feet directly under your hips. Hold the weight between your legs, making sure that the weight does not move forward, but stays between your legs the entire time.
- Push your hips back while maintaining a neutral spine and smoothness as you bend your knees, raising your hamstrings and glutes.
- Then return to standing.
Make it eccentric: Take three seconds to bend (the eccentric phase), and take one second to go back up again (the concentric phase).
- Start with a raised plank with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. (Optional modification: Do reps on your knees instead.)
- Bend your elbows at a 45-degree angle, so that your chest drops toward the floor.
- Press off the floor to return to the starting position.
Make it eccentric: Take three seconds to lower (eccentric phase), and one second to return (central phase).
Coach tip: Think of the pushup as a moving plank, so try to maintain a neutral spine at all times.
- Place a seat under the pull-up bar.
- Climb on the bench, grab the bar with an overhand grip slightly wider than shoulder width.
- Hang from the bar, bend your knees, and cross your ankles behind your body.
- Pressing your shoulder blades together, raise your body until your shoulders are directly below the crossbar.
- Lower back to starting position.
Make it eccentric: Take one second to pull yourself up (the central phase), and take three seconds to slowly lower your body down (the eccentric phase). “I swear by this!” Lamba says. “If you’re looking to install your first pull-up, increase your reps or improve your form. Eccentric repetitions (3-5 seconds) will help you tremendously.”
- Start by carrying a pair of dumbbells directly above your shoulders, palms facing out, and stand with your feet shoulder width apart, knees slightly bent.
- Press the weights until your arms are straight.
- Hold, then lower the dumbbells to your shoulders.
Make it eccentric: Take one second to press the weights up (the central stage), and take three seconds to slowly lower them down (the eccentric stage).
- Begin sitting or standing, hold a pair of dumbbells by your side, palms facing forward. Bend your elbows, and slowly and with control pull your hands toward your shoulders.
- Bend all the way up, leaving a small space between your hands and shoulders.
- Pause, then slowly lower back to the end.
Make it eccentric: Take three seconds to lower the weights down (the eccentric phase), and take one second to raise them again (the concentric phase).
Coach tip: Your upper arm and wrist should remain still; Move your forearm only from the elbow joint.
- Begin gripping the front edges of the chair or bench with your hands.
- Move your butt off and in front of the bench, feet flat, legs bent so thighs are parallel to the floor and arms straight. (You can also sit on the floor, as shown.)
- Lower your body toward the floor until your arms are at 90-degree angles. Then use the triceps to press the back button to start.
Make it eccentric: Take three seconds to lower yourself (the eccentric phase), and take one second to push yourself up (the concentric phase).
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