Training for Power, Strength, Quickness and Endurance

September 20, 2010 at 12:30 am Leave a comment

Eccentric muscle contraction is the last of the three muscle contractions we will learn how to put into our training routine. An eccentric contraction is where the muscle lengthens against resistance in a controlled motion. This type of training is one of the quickest ways to increase strength. Examples of this type contraction is the quad muscle lengthening as you are stepping down with the opposite leg, or slowly returning the foot plate to start position of a leg press machine. It requires a significant amount of muscle control to perform this type of contraction. You can incorporate this type of training into each muscle group, especially the weakest muscles. It is used in training purposes to improve power, strength, quickness, and endurance in the muscle tissue. Athletes use it to improve performance, and rehab specialist incorporate it into routines where injuries have occurred to return patients to functional ability in activities of everyday life; such as going down stairs.


Whatever muscle you may be training the rule of thumb would be when returning to your beginning position the movement after the concentric contraction should be slow (about 4 seconds) which is the eccentric contraction.

Example: Concentrated bicep curl. Sitting position: Knees bent to 90 degrees. Elbow placed on the inside of thigh just above your knee joint. Arm is extended with dumbbell in hand. Bend elbow bringing dumbbell towards shoulder (concentric contraction of bicep). Hold for 2 seconds squeezing bicep. Then SLOWLY lower dumbbell back towards floor the starting position (eccentric contraction, should take about 4 seconds to complete extension of elbow).


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