In this article we will discuss about What are Eccentric exercises? So let’s get started.
First let’s discuss about eccentric contraction, so eccentric contraction is the motion of the muscle while it is elongating or lengthening under load or weight. Eccentric exercise mainly focuses on the eccentric phase of the muscle contraction. It is used in rehabilitation for sports injuries, for elder persons suffering from neurological disorders, COPD etc. It produces high force with low energy consumption. According to Hortobàgyi due to these properties eccentric exercises has the greatest potential for muscle strengthening.
Eccentric contraction for muscle strengthening without damage
During ACL rehabilitation, early high force eccentric exercise can be used to increase muscle strength and volume without damaging the ACL graft, surrounding soft tissue and articular cartilage. In an experiment performed on rat muscles after twenty sessions of treadmill training at low intensity eccentric exercise the wet weight of the muscle and fiber cross-section were significantly larger than the control and level groups. These results concludes that low intensity eccentric exercises have the ability to induce muscle hypertrophy without producing muscle damage.
Eccentric exercises and oxygen consumption
Eccentric exercise is considered to be negative work as the muscle is working with resistance. According to Bigland-Ritchie et al less muscle activity and fewer muscle fibres were required to maintain the same force during eccentric work and there was large reduction in oxygen uptake when muscles was eccentrically lengthened moreover when a muscle is eccentrically lengthened the energy required drops eloquently because of slow ATP breakdown and heat generation. That’s why eccentric exercises are found to be a safer option for COPD patients.
Eccentric exercises and cardiac output
Eccentric exercises promotes strength gain but it leads to increase in cardiac vagal modulation during recovery.
Video Example of Eccentric Exercise