Eccentric training is a type of strength training that focuses on the negative or lowering phase of a movement. This training method has been shown to increase strength and muscle hypertrophy, as well as improve athletic performance and prevent injuries. In this article, we will explore the benefits of eccentric training, the science behind it, and how to incorporate it into your workout routine.
Benefits of Eccentric Training Eccentric training has been found to have a number of benefits, including:
- Increased muscle strength and size: Eccentric training places greater tension on muscles during the negative phase, leading to greater muscle damage and adaptations, resulting in increased strength and size.
- Improved athletic performance: Eccentric training can improve performance in activities such as sprinting, jumping, and throwing, by increasing power and reducing the risk of injury.
- Injury prevention: Eccentric training can help prevent injuries by strengthening muscles and tendons, improving joint stability, and reducing the risk of muscle imbalances.
Science Behind Eccentric Training Eccentric training works by taking advantage of the fact that muscles can handle more weight during the eccentric phase than during the concentric (lifting) phase. This increased tension on the muscle fibers during the negative phase leads to greater muscle damage and adaptation. Eccentric training also increases the recruitment of high-threshold motor units, which are responsible for generating high levels of force.
How to Incorporate Eccentric Training Eccentric training can be incorporated into your workout routine in a number of ways. Some examples include:
- Slow Eccentrics: Perform the eccentric phase of a movement slowly, taking 3-5 seconds to lower the weight. This method can be used with exercises such as squats, lunges, and chin-ups.
- Eccentric Overload: Use a weight that is greater than your one-rep max (1RM) for the eccentric phase of a movement. This method can be used with exercises such as deadlifts and bench presses.
- Accentuated Eccentrics: Use a weight that is greater than your 1RM for the eccentric phase of a movement, and then use a lighter weight for the concentric phase. This method can be used with exercises such as leg press and chest press.
In conclusion, eccentric training is a powerful tool for increasing strength, muscle size, and athletic performance, as well as preventing injuries. By incorporating eccentric training into your workout routine, you can take your fitness to the next level and reach your goals faster.