Eccentric Training – Definition & Detailed Explanation – Functional Training Glossary

I. What is Eccentric Training?

Eccentric training, also known as negative training, is a type of strength training that focuses on the eccentric phase of a movement. The eccentric phase is the portion of an exercise where the muscle lengthens under tension. This is in contrast to the concentric phase, where the muscle shortens under tension. Eccentric training involves emphasizing the lowering or lengthening phase of an exercise, rather than the lifting or shortening phase.

Eccentric training can be performed using various types of equipment, such as free weights, resistance bands, or machines. It can also be done with bodyweight exercises, such as push-ups, squats, or lunges. The key is to control the movement during the eccentric phase to maximize muscle activation and strength gains.

II. How does Eccentric Training differ from traditional strength training?

Traditional strength training typically focuses on both the concentric and eccentric phases of a movement. For example, when performing a bicep curl, the concentric phase involves lifting the weight towards the shoulder, while the eccentric phase involves lowering the weight back down. In contrast, eccentric training places more emphasis on the eccentric phase by slowing down the lowering portion of the movement.

By targeting the eccentric phase, eccentric training can help to increase muscle strength, size, and endurance more effectively than traditional strength training. This is because the eccentric phase of a movement is where the muscle is under the most tension and is forced to work harder to control the weight.

III. What are the benefits of Eccentric Training?

There are several benefits to incorporating eccentric training into your workout routine. Some of the key benefits include:

1. Increased muscle strength: Eccentric training has been shown to increase muscle strength more effectively than traditional strength training. This is because the eccentric phase of a movement places greater stress on the muscle fibers, leading to greater gains in strength.

2. Muscle hypertrophy: Eccentric training can also help to increase muscle size, or hypertrophy. By focusing on the eccentric phase, you can target specific muscle groups and stimulate muscle growth more effectively.

3. Improved muscle endurance: Eccentric training can help to improve muscle endurance by increasing the time under tension during the eccentric phase of a movement. This can lead to greater muscular endurance and stamina.

4. Injury prevention: Eccentric training can help to strengthen muscles and tendons, reducing the risk of injury during physical activity. By focusing on the eccentric phase, you can improve muscle stability and control, which can help to prevent injuries.

IV. How can Eccentric Training be incorporated into a functional training routine?

Eccentric training can be incorporated into a functional training routine by focusing on the eccentric phase of movements that mimic everyday activities. Functional training involves performing exercises that improve strength, balance, and coordination to help with daily tasks and activities.

To incorporate eccentric training into a functional training routine, you can perform exercises such as squats, lunges, push-ups, and rows with a slower and controlled lowering phase. This will help to target specific muscle groups and improve functional strength and stability.

You can also use resistance bands or weights to increase the intensity of eccentric training exercises. By gradually increasing the resistance, you can challenge your muscles and stimulate greater gains in strength and muscle size.

V. What are some common exercises used in Eccentric Training?

There are several common exercises that are often used in eccentric training. Some of these exercises include:

1. Eccentric push-ups: Start in a push-up position and lower yourself down slowly for a count of 3-5 seconds. Push yourself back up to the starting position and repeat for several repetitions.

2. Eccentric squats: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and lower yourself into a squat position for a count of 3-5 seconds. Push yourself back up to the starting position and repeat for several repetitions.

3. Eccentric bicep curls: Hold a dumbbell in each hand and slowly lower the weight down for a count of 3-5 seconds. Curl the weight back up to the starting position and repeat for several repetitions.

4. Eccentric lunges: Step forward with one foot and lower yourself into a lunge position for a count of 3-5 seconds. Push yourself back up to the starting position and repeat on the other leg.

VI. What precautions should be taken when performing Eccentric Training exercises?

When performing eccentric training exercises, it is important to take certain precautions to ensure safety and effectiveness. Some precautions to keep in mind include:

1. Start with lighter weights: When incorporating eccentric training into your routine, start with lighter weights to allow your muscles to adapt to the increased stress. Gradually increase the resistance as your strength improves.

2. Focus on proper form: It is important to maintain proper form during eccentric training exercises to prevent injury and maximize muscle activation. Keep your core engaged, and control the movement throughout the eccentric phase.

3. Listen to your body: Pay attention to how your body feels during eccentric training exercises. If you experience any pain or discomfort, stop the exercise and consult with a fitness professional.

4. Warm-up properly: Before starting an eccentric training session, warm up your muscles with dynamic stretches and light cardio to prepare your body for the workout.

In conclusion, eccentric training is a valuable addition to any workout routine, offering a range of benefits including increased muscle strength, size, and endurance. By incorporating eccentric training into your functional training routine and focusing on the eccentric phase of movements, you can improve muscle stability, prevent injuries, and enhance overall physical performance. Just remember to take precautions, start with lighter weights, and focus on proper form to maximize the benefits of eccentric training.