Eccentric Muscle Contraction
What is an eccentric contraction and why is it important?
An eccentric contraction occurs when a muscle is activated and the muscle length elongates. The external force (ex. barbell or dumbbell) is greater than the muscle force. An example of an eccentric contraction is lowering the weight during a bicep curl. The bicep is activated and it is elongated resulting in the weight being lowered down. Eccentric contractions are required in training in order to generate another concentric contraction.
Let’s breakdown the unique characteristics of an eccentric contraction and when it should be used in training, prehab, and rehab:
- Decreases blood pressure after contraction
- Good alternative for athletes with high blood pressure
- More pressure on joints, tendons, and ligaments than isometric but less than concentric
- Athletes can use these at various points throughout prehab, rehab, and training
- Muscle completely lengthens
- Muscle can be strengthen optimally
- Results in increased delayed onset muscle soreness DOMS
Check out our rehab, prehab, and training pages to see when it is best to use eccentric contractions!
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