While exercising, you not only have to do it correctly, most importantly, you also have to get the utmost results from it. In order to do that, you have to know two concepts — concentric and eccentric muscle contractions. If your goal is to build muslce fast, eccentric contraction should be emphasized. Now let’s learn more about concentric and eccentric contractions to get the best benefit from your workout.
Eccentric Contraction Vs. Concentric Contraction
Eccentric contraction activates the muscles so that tension on a muscle is increased as it lengthens. This phenomenon ordinarily occurs whenever a muscle counters a stronger force which leads to lengthening of muscle as it contracts. Running downhill, going down stairs, downward motion of squats, push ups or pull ups, and lowering weights are few of the typical exercises of such muscle contraction.
Concentric contraction, on the contrary, activates the muscles so that tension on a muscle is increased as it shortens. This kind of contraction usually occurs when a body needs to generate a lot of power, such as the up motion of squat, biceps curls and bench press. This phenomenon is known as muscle shortening, whereas the former one is known as muscle lengthening.
Eccentric Contraction Is Better for Building Muscles
Muscle hypertension means to increase body muslce size, the goal of many people’s workout plan. If you also want to get bigger 6 pack, you have to focus more on eccentric contraction. That is because you will be stronger, up to 1.75 times stronger, with eccentric muslce contraction than with concentric contraction. During eccentric training, the body focuses on slowing down the muscle lengthening process, which challenges and trains the muscles, leading to bigger muslces, faster metabolic rate and better muscle healing ability.
How to do: When doing eccentric training, you have to lower the weight in a controlled rhythm and follow a set tempo (using seconds to conunt the time). For instance, you can use a tempo of 4-6 seconds for the eccentric phase of training and 1-2 seconds for the conentric phase. And after eccentric training, you’d better take protein synthesis to get bigger muscles.
Caution: Due to the greater stress on the muscle during eccentric muscle training, though good for hypertrophy, it can cause more muscle fiber damages than concentric training. So do know the right amount of weight and proper time for your eccentric training.
How Does Eccentric Contraction Benefit You?
Eccentric training focuses on slowing down the elongation of the muscle process in order to challenge the muscles. Eccentric training is particularly good for casual and high performance athletes or the elderly and patients looking to rehabilitate certain muscles and tendons. Some of the major benefits of eccentric training are listed below:
1. Generate More Strength
During the eccentric phase of an exercise, more force is generated by the muscles. For better understanding consider this example, a person may be able to lift only a 5 or 10 pound dumbbell for a biceps curl but the same person can easily hold and lower (the eccentric phase) a 15 or 20 pound dumbbell.
2. Assist You To Upgrade Your Workout
The eccentric contraction in eccentric phase of training can help a person to progress to workouts that are too difficult at present. For example, a person may desire to do pull ups (concentric phase) with ease but is unable to do so due to lack of necessary strength. In such a situation, the person may start increasing his/her strength by performing the eccentric phase of pull ups, meaning the downword motion of pull ups.
3. Use Less Energy
Eccentric phase of training uses less energy as compared to concentric training which means a person can do more reps of exercises than normal which leads to greater strength, more power and better shape.
4. Increase Your Flexibility
Eccentric training leads to more flexibility of muscles when compared to concentric training. This training leads to growth of muscle fibers which, in turn, increases the length of muscles by increasing the sacromeres in series within the muscle. In simple terms, the more the eccentric phase of training, the more is the flexibility.
Watch the video below to know the more differences between eccentric contraction and concentric contraction, the benefits of eccentric contractions and how to get the best utmost results: