One change you should make to improve your strength training

One change you should make to improve your strength training

Exercise tends to focus mainly on how much energy you’re putting into something. There is a counter to all this effort: eccentric movement, when you release or relax and slow down these actions.

The “start movements” such as lifting, powering up from a squat, and pushing yourself forward are known as concentric movements, but when you lower your arms, or slow down, this is known as eccentric movement.

Eccentric strength can be thought of as the equal (and sometimes stronger) opposite reaction to powerful concentric movements.

It can allow a greater load on the muscles and it is thought you can generate as much as 1.3 times more tension than concentric training.

Benefits include improved muscle coordination, improved balance, increased muscle power and sport performance and recovery from tendon-related injuries.

Try these eccentric exercises:

Drop Jumps

Stand on a box or a bench. Step off with one foot and as both feet come together on the ground, drive the arms up and jump up as high as possible.

Squats

Slowly and with control, lower down to the bottom of your squat, taking five to six seconds to the bottom.

Once at the bottom, explode up as fast as possible. Remember to keep your glutes squeezed, knees out and abs tight throughout the entire process.

Nordic Hamstring Curls

Kneel on a pad with your hips directly over your knees and arms crossed over your chest. Squeeze your glutes and lower your body down toward the floor in a straight line.

There is no need to go all the way to the ground, as it’s easy to lose form and buckle your body to support your weight.

Keep your body as stiff as a board, tighten your abs, squeeze your glutes and lower down to a 45-degree angle. Squeeze your glutes and raise back up.

 


The Author

Laura Briggs

Laura is a fitness writer who loves running, strength training, Pilates and Yoga. When she's got time to herself you might find her knitting, or in the kitchen trying out an elaborate recipe - healthy of course!.

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