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Optimizing Strength and Mobility through Eccentric Training

Updated: 4 days ago

What are Eccentric Contractions?

Eccentric muscle contractions occur during the lowering or lengthening phase of an exercise. Eccentric tempo training employs this type of contraction by maintaining constant tension throughout the entire lowering portion of a movement.

Improve Mobility

Rather than lowering a weight quickly, this method focuses on slowly lowering it over 3-8 seconds. This intensive tempo places an extensive stretch on the muscle fibers as they are forced to lengthen in a controlled manner. Performing eccentric contractions in this way allows the muscles to be stretched to a greater range of motion than normal.

Research indicates this gradual stretching can help lengthen restricted muscles over time by improving the pliability of surrounding ligaments and tendons. Tight, inflexible muscles are stretched beyond their normal limits through eccentric training, but in a safe, controlled fashion.

Build More Muscle

Eccentric training stimulates significantly more muscle growth than concentric or isometric contractions alone. Slowly lowering a weight recruits many more muscle fibers and induces superior metabolic stress and muscle protein synthesis.

Optimise Your Training

In each training mesocycle, perform 1-3 exercises like Bulgarian Split Squat, Hamstring Curl, or push ups in each week's training, with an emphasis on slow, controlled movement during the lengthening part of the exercise can effectively increase flexibility while also balancing muscle development. Within 6-8 weeks, improved ranges of motion and cross-sectional strength balances should be noticeable.

By leveraging the enhanced recruitment and metabolic stress induced through eccentric contractions, controlled tempo training offers an efficient path to simultaneously optimize mobility, flexibility and muscular development.

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