What are Eccentrics? Eccentrics is a nick-name given to a particular lifting style where the eccentric movement is moved slowly and under control, while the concentric movement is done fast and explosively.
- Eccentric-the loading phase of an exercise where the muscle lengthens, building tension to distribute force. (i.e. the sitting portion of a squat, the raising of arms overhead in a pull-down, etc.)
- Concentric-the contraction and shortening of the muscle to produce the greatest amount of force. (i.e. the standing up portion of a squat, the pulling down motion in a pull-down, etc.)
So why are eccentrics so good?
1. They put more time under tension on the muscle fibers, forcing them to grow more rapidly in recovery. (Fear not ladies, this is not the magic recipe to make you bulky! You’ll be leaner and more toned because of it.)
2. This workout style tends to burn more calories than a traditional weightlifting routine.
3. Eccentrics require and individual to use less weight than they are accustomed to, while providing optimal tension for muscle strength and size, and limiting compressive forces on the joints of the body (because the weight is less than what would be normally experienced for the same amount of reps/sets)
4. The greater building of muscle mass yields a leaner physique which is optimal for people looking to increase their metabolism for fat loss and weight management. A common problem that a majority of women face when using resistance exercise as a form of fat loss is not pushing the muscle hard enough.
5. They are more appropriate for explosive athletes. Muscles harness eccentric energy within themselves, allowing them to explode concentrically. Using eccentrics will increase the concentric contraction from the built-up eccentric energy.