You Need Eccentric Exercises to get more Results in Less Time
Fitness fans now want to do eccentric exercises because, even though weight training is used to build strength and, in turn, muscle mass, there has always been a question in the back of people’s minds: is there a way to speed up the process? Research from Edith Cowan University shows that a certain type of muscle contraction is more effective than lifting weights at making muscles bigger and stronger. So the answer is a resounding “yes.”
This could cut your weightlifting routine in half and get you the same results, which is good news for people who have trouble keeping up with gym workouts. The Anglo-Saxons call it “strength training,” and the main thing you do is focus on the return phase of the movement and do it more slowly than the pushing phase that comes before it. With this method and eccentric exercises, the muscle stays tight for longer, lengthens, and triggers growth signals, which leads to fast muscle growth.
The Study that Demonstrates its Effectiveness
In a study from Edith Cowan University that was published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, it was found that people who just put the weights down and did eccentric exercises got the same results as those who lifted weights and did full-body exercises.
The people who helped with the study were split into three training groups. The first group only did eccentric exercises, which involved lowering the weight. The second group only did concentric exercises, which involved lifting the weight. The third group did both concentric and eccentric exercises (alternately lifting and lowering the weight). All three got stronger in the concentric direction, but only the concentric-only group got stronger in this way.
Both isometric (static) strength and eccentric strength got a lot better in the eccentric-only and concentric-eccentric groups. Even though the eccentric-only group did half as many reps as the concentric-eccentric group, the strength gains were very similar. The eccentric-only group also reported a greater increase in muscle thickness, which is a sign of muscle hypertrophy (7.2% vs. 5.4% in the concentric-eccentric group).
Professor Ken Nosaka said, “We already know that just one eccentric muscle contraction a day can increase muscle strength if done five days a week, even for just three seconds a day, while concentric or isometric muscle contractions do not have this effect.”
The Best Eccentric Exercises
Trainers say that you don’t need to do more than six to eight reps when you do eccentric training. The concentric phase should last between one and two seconds, and the eccentric phase should take three seconds. By the way, most exercises you do at the gym can also be done in an eccentric way. Here are the ones that work best.
1. Negative pull-ups
Normal pull-ups involve lifting and lowering your body in the usual way. Negative pull-ups, on the other hand, don’t focus on how hard it is to go up, but rather on how hard it is to come down.
This exercise helps the biceps, triceps, deltoids, large back muscles, and trapezius muscles the most. Negative pull-ups start when the chin is on the bar and the arms are bent, which is the second part of a normal pull-up. You can get into this position with the help of another person or a chair. Once you’re in this position, slowly lower yourself until your arms are fully stretched out.
You can also do push-ups in a way that is different from how they are usually done. Doing push-ups in this way will also help you do more traditional push-ups.
To start, get into the starting position and lower yourself very slowly toward the ground. The eccentric phase, which is the release, is a very important part of building muscle. After that, you can pick up the pace again. If you still have trouble with regular push-ups, start on your knees. To get the most out of the negative repetitions, you need to do the exercise correctly.
3. Leg Press
Regular leg press exercises that work the buttocks, front and back of the thighs, the lower half of the lower leg, and the calves are also great for eccentric training.
Start in the traditional way, with your feet on the platform at an angle of about 90 degrees. The eccentric phase is when you step away from the platform, hold the weight for a short time at the end of the exercise, and then slowly bring it back toward you. To build muscle power, after moving the weight away from you, you should focus on moving it back toward you and make the eccentric phase last as long as you can.
4. Bench Press
The flat bench press is a very good exercise for eccentric training because it works the pectoralis major, the inner deltoid, and the triceps. The traditional way to do this exercise is to lie on a weight bench and push the bar up. However, if you want to do it in an eccentric way, make sure to lower the bar much more slowly than you lifted it. In this case, you should ask for help because moving around will be much more tiring than lifting.
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