Use Eccentric Movements to Build Strength and Improve Flexibility

Eccentric Exercise: What are they?

The word “eccentric” means “going back”. For example, if you want to go up a flight of stairs, you have to start from the bottom step and then move your body upwards. You don’t just jump down from one step and then climb up again. That’s not how it works!

In order to build strength and improve flexibility, you need to work with your muscles in a specific way. There are two types of movements that you can do: concentric (moving your body) and eccentric (going backwards). When you perform any type of movement, the force produced by each muscle group must be balanced out.

If there is too much weight being lifted or too little resistance being applied, the result will be failure. If you try to lift too much weight or apply too little resistance, you won’t get anywhere.

When performing any type of exercise, the amount of time required depends on the intensity and duration of the movement. In other words, when doing a set of squats for 10 minutes at 85% effort, it takes longer than when doing them for 5 minutes at 70% effort. Likewise, it takes longer to lift a set of 50-pound dumbbells for 10 minutes at 85% effort than it does to lift the same set for 5 minutes at 70% effort.

When you perform any type of exercise, the amount of strength required depends on the speed of movement. This is why sprinting and running long distances take more energy than walking or hiking at a leisurely pace. If you perform any one activity at too much of an angle, you will quickly burn out.

This is why we can’t go from sprinting to hiking up a mountain.

Eccentric exercises are those that involve muscles moving under tension, but in the direction opposite to their natural movement (towards the center of the body). This means that in order to perform eccentric exercises, you would have to slow down your normal range of motion. To clarify, in the case of the squat exercise, this would mean lowering yourself more slowly than you do now.

By controlling the lowering of your body in this way, you will be able to hold heavier objects for a longer period of time and decrease your risk of injury.

A major advantage of eccentric training is that it helps to prevent injuries from happening in the first place. For example, eccentric training has been proven to strengthen tendons and ligaments. If you want to remain in good shape as you age, it is important to work against gravity.

That is why eccentric training is so effective at combatting the natural decline of the body after the age of 30*.

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You may be wondering how much lower your reps should be in order to count as eccentric training. The general rule of thumb is that you should take four seconds to lower the weight and one second to lift it. If lowering it any slower causes your form to suffer too much, then just take as long as you need in order to feel comfortable.

While this style of training may seem unusual at first, it is a great way to challenge your body and prevent injury from overuse. Your muscles will get stronger from each lift, while your tendons and ligaments will get stronger from each lowering. You’ll be able to go longer and longer with each set as your body adapts to this new style of training.

All you have to do is alternate between a concentric and eccentric movement for each exercise. For example, if you’re squatting, then you would perform a squat in the normal way and then lower the weight slowly. That would count as one rep.

You don’t need to use heavy weights for eccentric training. In fact, you will get better results with lighter weights because your muscles have to work harder to control the weight on the way down. By lowering the weight slowly, you are giving your muscles more time to absorb the impact as you lift it up, which strengthens them even more.

It’s all about giving your muscles a thorough workout from every angle. If you’re interested in eccentric training, then perform each exercise in the list below. Take your time and lower the weight slowly, pausing for a moment at the bottom of each rep.

After you finish this routine, take a day of rest and then move on to the next section.

A Good Warm-up: 5 Minutes

1. Warmup Jog:

1 Minute

2. Arm Swing:

1 Minute

3. Leg Swings:

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1 Minute

4. Superman:

1 Minute

5. Calf Stretch:

1 Minute

6. Boxer Shuffle:

2 Minutes

7. Running On The Spot:

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3 Minutes

8. Pull Aparts:

3 Minutes

9. Push Aparts:

3 Minutes

10. Groiners: 3 Minutes

11. Side Leg Lifts: 3 Minutes

12. High Knees: 3 Minutes

13. Butt-busters: 3 Minutes

14. Jumping Jacks: 3 Minutes

15. Cool Down Jog: 5 Minutes

Notices for the Second Set of Exercises

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For your next set of exercises, you will follow a slightly different routine. You will now incorporate a strength training routine into your daily exercise, in addition to your running. You will still be running for a short period of time, but you will also be performing some resistance exercises for your upper body and core.

It is very beneficial to do these in a pool, but you can also perform them on dry land if need be. Either way, I want you to do them three times a week until your next update. Be sure to stretch properly and warm up before each session.

You will find the routine below. After you complete the routine, you have one more thing to do. It is important to give your muscles at least one full day of rest each week.

Your muscles repair themselves and grow stronger when you rest, just like anything else. Remember this and take a whole day each week to just relax and do nothing. Your updates will now be on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. I’ll be looking forward to your next update.

If you have any further questions, please contact me. My assistant will give you a call to set up a time for your next session.

Your friend,

Kaz

P.S. Your first payment of $100 has been mailed to you.

Please wait at least one week after you receive it before buying any new equipment.

–Kaz

Workout Routine

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Perform each exercise in the given order and then take a break before continuing.

1A. Leg Raises: Start by lying flat on your back and then lifting your legs up at a 90 degree angle. Keep them there and do a single leg squat, lifting your heel up as you go.

When this is done, lift your toes up and curl your feet towards your shins 10 times. Return your feet to the starting position and then lift your heels up and twist your feet to the left, touching your right knee with your right elbow and then reversing, touching your left knee with your left elbow. Keep going in this fashion for at least 1 minute, but no more than 2.

1B. Crunches: Lie flat on your back and engage in a pullingup motion, as described earlier. Pull yourself up until your elbows are at a 90 degree angle and then gently lower yourself down.

Do this 25 times for at least 30 seconds, but no more than 45.

1C. V-Ups: Lie flat on your back and then lift your legs and torso up so that they form a V shape. Touch your right foot to your left hand and then your left foot to your right hand.

Go back and forth from one side to the other touching your foot to your hand. Do this for 1 minute and then gently lower yourself down.

Exercise is now complete. You may now return to your regularly scheduled program. Remember, you have one more session this week and then two sessions every week thereafter for the duration of your program.

Wednesday, October 15th

Note: This is an outdoor workout, so make sure you dress appropriately.

Use Eccentric Movements to Build Strength and Improve Flexibility - GymFitWorkout

“Whoo! That was a great one,” Birch exclaims. You are lying next to him, trying to catch your breath.

A cold wind blows and you pull your coat tightly around yourself.

“Man, I’m going to be sore tomorrow,” you say, flexing a fist to try to get the feeling back into your fingers.

“Oh yeah! We’ll see just how badass you are then.” He smiles.

You both laugh and then start putting away the exercise equipment. Once you have everything packed away, you give a small wave to your friend and get in your car. The drive back is long and quiet.

Your mind keeps wandering back to your wife. You wonder what she’s doing right now, if she’s thinking about you at all. Probably not, you think. She has a lot on her mind right now with her job interview coming up and all.

Still, it would be nice to receive a call from her just to say she was thinking about you.

You pull into the garage and go up to the house. You unlock the door and step inside. The entire house is quiet.

Too quiet, in fact. You walk from room to room looking for her, but she’s nowhere to be found. Strange, you think. I wonder if she’s at her mother’s house.

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As you go to grab your cell phone to call her, you see a note laying on the kitchen counter. You walk over to it and scan the paper.

Went to Paris. Apologies, but our relationship is simply not working out. ~Jennifer

You read the sentence several times, trying to grasp the meaning of the words. Jennifer left you. She packed up and went to Paris without so much as a fare thee well.

You feel the anger rising up inside of you. You sit down on a chair in the kitchen and try to maintain your calm. However, this is Jennifer we’re talking about.

The woman who slept with your brother behind your back during your engagement.

Why should you care if she left? You’re better off without her anyway, right?

Still… she’s the mother of your child. The idea of her abandoning Isabella doesn’t sit well with you at all. With a sigh, you pick up the phone and call her mother’s house. Her mother answers and tells you that she hasn’t seen Jennifer and that she doesn’t know what’s gotten into her. She suggests that you go to Paris and drag her back home by the ear. You thank her and hang up, wondering if you should take her up on the suggestion.

Then again, maybe it’s for the best. Now you can focus all your attention on raising Isabella. You’re her father and it’s your job to ensure she has nothing but the best.

You’ll find another girlfriend eventually. You’re sure of it.

In the meantime, you have work tomorrow and you need to get some sleep if you’re going to be operating on no sleep tonight. With a new outlook on life, or at least one that doesn’t include Jennifer, you head to bed and drift off to sleep.

The next morning, you arrive at the office early and find that a package has been delivered to you. You wonder if it’s from Jennifer. Inside the package is a flash drive and a note.

I found this on my doorstep this morning. The note reads.

You plug in the flash drive and browse through its contents. It contains a series of video files labeled with dates going back almost two years. The earliest dated video is from shortly after you started dating Jennifer.

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It’s a video of the two of you kissing in front of your apartment. You have no idea how someone could have gotten that footage without either of you seeing them, but then again, you don’t really pay attention to anything other than Jennifer whenever you’re with her.

You scroll down to the most recent video and hit play. The video shows the inside of Jennifer’s apartment. You see the back of someone’s head sitting in front of a laptop.

You then hear the familiar chime of your email notification going off.

“That must be it,” you hear Jennifer say.

You have to pause the video at this point to stop yourself from jumping out of your skin. You never expected that you’d hear her actual voice again. When you gain control of yourself, you hit play again.

“You need to see this,” Jennifer says to the camera.

Jennifer gets up and walks over to her laptop. She sits down and begins typing, presumably answering the email. Then she gets up and walks out of view.

The video cuts to the chime of a new email arriving.

Jennifer walks back into frame and looks at the camera.

“I have to go now,” she says.

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Jennifer’s face is blank and expressionless. She then blows a kiss at the camera before getting up and leaving the room. You watch as she exits through a door.

A few minutes later you hear the door open and close again followed by the sound of a car engine starting up. You count to sixty, at which point you stand up and walk out of your office.

The drive to Jennifer’s apartment takes about twenty minutes thanks to traffic. When you arrive, you find that there are two police cars in the parking lot and four officers standing around outside the entrance to her building. You pull up to them and roll down your window.

“I’m looking for my wife,” you say, “Her name is Jennifer Barretta. She lives in apartment 102.”

The four men look at each other and then one of them walks over to you.

“I’m sorry sir, but there’s been an incident,” the officer says, “If you come with me, I’ll explain what happened.”

You haven’t been listening to the radio on the drive over and you didn’t notice any news headlines that would lead you to believe something happened to Jennifer, so you’re filled with confusion and alarm when the officer says this. You follow the officer into the building and up to her apartment.

The door to her apartment is slightly ajar. The officer opens it and calls out Jennifer’s name. When there is no response he tells you to wait and steps inside.

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He soon reappears and beckons for you to follow him inside.

You walk past him and find yourself standing in the middle of a crime scene. Jennifer’s apartment has been ransacked and there are signs of a violent struggle; furniture is overturned and there are pieces of broken glass on the floor. More disturbingly, you see two dead men lying in pools of blood.

One of them is face down and the back of his head is missing. The other is slumped against the wall; his face covered in blood. You look more closely at him and see that his throat has been savagely torn out.

You turn your attention away from the gruesome sight when you notice a card lying on the floor. You walk over to pick it up and read the message written on it.

“I found out today that you’ve been less than honest with me. I’m disappointed that you couldn’t at least end things before starting something with someone else. Consider this your second chance.

I could have easily gone to see him, but what would be the fun in that?

This way, you get a do-over. You still have time to change history. Let’s hope you make the right choice this time.”

Jennifer’s voice suddenly pierces your ears.

“It’s all my fault,” she says, “I’m so sorry.”

Jennifer’s image appears on all the TV screens in the room and on the computer screen. You see her sitting in a dimly lit room. She’s wearing the same outfit she had on when she left your office.

Tears are streaming down her face and she’s looking down at her hands. She lifts her head up when she senses you’re looking at her. She sniffles and then gives you a weak smile.

“Hi,” she says, “I love you.”

Jennifer’s eyes close and her head falls forward. A shotgun blast tears through the silence and blasts part of her face away. You jump back when you hear it and there’s an echo as the sound reverberates around the room.

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Jennifer slumps down in her seat and lays still.

The screen goes black and then displays a message.

It’s amazing how history repeats itself, isn’t it?”

You hear a creaking sound and turn your attention to the stairs leading up to the roof. You feel cold air start to blow down onto you.

Jennifer,” you call out, “is that you?”

A dark figure walks down the stairs and emerges from the shadows. She has long black hair and is dressed in a short black dress. The woman slowly walks towards you and your eyes widen when you realize who it is.

“Hello, Jacob,” the figure says in a low voice.

Jennifer?”

you ask.

The woman’s face contorts into a hideous mask of rage. She lets out a scream and charges towards you with inhuman speed. You barely have time to react.

You feel her nails dig into your neck and you reach up to grab her wrist, but she twists around and lifts you up off the ground.

Sources & references used in this article:

Effects of eccentric strength training on biceps femoris muscle architecture and knee joint range of movement by TG Potier, CM Alexander, OR Seynnes – European journal of applied …, 2009 – Springer

Eccentric training and static stretching improve hamstring flexibility of high school males by RT Nelson, WD Bandy – Journal of athletic training, 2004 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

The effects of eccentric training on lower limb flexibility: a systematic review by K O’Sullivan, S McAuliffe, N DeBurca – British Journal of Sports …, 2012 – bjsm.bmj.com

Effect of deep stripping massage alone or with eccentric resistance on hamstring length and strength by J Forman, L Geertsen, ME Rogers – Journal of bodywork and movement …, 2014 – Elsevier

A 10‐week randomized trial comparing eccentric vs. concentric hamstring strength training in well‐trained soccer players by R Mjølsnes, A Arnason, T Østhagen… – … journal of medicine …, 2004 – Wiley Online Library