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Tired of trying different diets and fads to keep healthy only to be led astray? Learn the best tips and tricks for staying fit and healthy from a reliable source. Registered Dietitian / Nutritionist, Cindy Kleckner, RDN, LD, FAND and our certified personal trainers will be bringing you different health and nutrition tips and exercises each month to help you reach your peak of fitness!


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June 2019

Control the Negative

Resistance training utilizing bodyweight or external loads including dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, Swiss ball, elastic bands and machines are all following a number of sets, repetitions or duration method. How you perform these exercise techniques depends on your fitness goals. Besides doing your normal exercises by counting repetitions or trying to lift the heaviest weight possible, you can always challenge yourself in different ways by applying this mode of training during your next workout. Eccentric resistance training has been overlooked, underused and undervalued because we often make a mistake of trying to perform an exercise very quickly with poor form and technique. Even if we are aware of this type of training, we try to avoid it since it is difficult to perform. Let’s spice up your training style by implementing this variable into your program to reap these hidden benefits.


What is eccentric resistance training?

Any movement that lengthens a muscle at the same time it is being contracted is called eccentric contraction. Eccentric training is also referred to as negative training or negative work. This training often involves a partner who aids in the lifting of a weight (the concentric movement) and stabilizes you as you lower the weight on your own (the eccentric movement). Eccentric resistance training could build muscle size and strength better than standard concentric-eccentric movements. In addition, there are some advantages and disadvantages of this type of resistance training.


Advantages:

  • Improvement in athletic ability
  • Anaerobic power
  • Enhancement in coordination
  • Improvement to lower limb flexibility
  • Increase in acceleration and endurance
  • Increase in maximum strength
  • Improvement in bone density and bone mineral content among women


Disadvantages:

  • Increases the risk of delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)
  • Burns fewer calories
  • Requires a partner on certain exercises


DOMS = Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. It usually occurs at its peak 24-48 hours after performing any strengthening exercises.


Example:

Biceps Curl with an external load.

Source: Fit Tip Daily

Bicep Curl External load


Benefits of this exercise with eccentric training:

  • Increase in size (hypertrophy) of bicep muscles
  • Better muscle definition
  • Less chance of injury at a lower speed (no momentum during lifting)
  • Increase in endurance and strength of forearms and grips
  • Increase in strength and power for certain pulling exercises (i.e. row, pullup and deadlift)


Drawbacks of this exercise with eccentric training:

  • Extra muscle soreness caused from Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS)
  • Does not burn a lot of calories


Difficulty level: 

Easy - Intermdediate

 

Nordic Hamstring Exercise with a partner

  • This exercise requires a partner.
  • Start from the top and slowly descend down toward the floor. Engage core and lower extremity muscles throughout the whole movement.
  • Once the floor is reached, explosively push an entire upper body back up to the original position then slowly, controlling the negative, descend down toward the floor again.


Source: The Game Beautiful

hamstringBenefits of this exercise with eccentric training:

  • Improvement in lower limb flexibility
  • Increase in hamstring endurance and strength
  • Improvement in athletic performance especially for soccer players
  • Increase in strength for different exercises including box jumps, squat jumps, split jumps, depth jumps, stiff leg deadlifts and Bulgarian split squats
  • Less chance of hamstring injuries when playing sports, especially for soccer players
  • Gluteal and hamstring activation for better plyometric, anaerobic and aerobic power


Drawbacks of this exercise with eccentric training:

  • Requires a partner
  • Extremely difficult to perform properly
  • Extra muscle soreness. Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
  • Does not burn a lot of calories


Difficulty level:

Advanced


Disclaimer: Do not attempt this exercise if you have a history of hamstring injuries. Seek a physician’s clearance before attempting this exercise. Do not perform this exercise without supervision by a professional coach or a certified personal trainer.


References:


Personal Trainer DuyThien LeBrought to you by DuyThien Le B.S., ACSM-CPT. To schedule an appointment with DuyThien, email him or call 407-446-7247.