Article by John Miller
What is Eccentric Strengthening?
Eccentric muscle action is an overall lengthening of a muscle as it develops tension and contracts to control motion performed by an outside force. For example, your calf muscle shortens to rise onto your toes but lengthens to control your descent. The lowering phase is an eccentric contraction.
Why is Eccentric Strengthening Important?
Muscle are basically divided into two sections. The contractile (red) muscle belly and the (white) tendon and non-contractile components.
Muscle shortening (concentric contraction) stresses and predominately strengthens the red muscle belly.
Active muscle lengthening (eccentric contraction) stresses and thereby strengthens the (white) tendon tissue more.
For more advice on a whether an Eccentric Strengthening Program is suitable for you please consult your physiotherapist. Tendinopathies respond particularly well to eccentric exercises.
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