October 5, 2021

Eccentric Training: What It Is and How—and Why—to Do It

Eccentric training may sound like a new exercise trend, it is something that you are likely already doing at least partially. Because eccentric movement is simply a lengthening phase in an exercise, such a bicep curl descent or descending. Eccentric training has certain benefits and focuses on this phase.

We asked Johnny Alexander, a doctor of chiropractic and Marcin Szczyglowski to share their expertise on eccentric training.

What Is Eccentric Training?

Eccentric training focuses on the lengthening and elongating phases of movements in exercises where tension is applied to the muscle with resistance such as a dumbbell. This is opposite to the concentric phase which is the contraction or shortening of the muscle.


  • Johnny Alexander, the founder of Warrior NYC is a specialist in sports injuries and a doctor of chiropractic.
  • Marcin Szczyglowski, a physical therapist at Ohio State University Wexner Hospital Medical Center, is Marcin.

The Benefits

Traditional bodybuilding tends to focus on concentric contractions. This is the contraction of muscle fibers that are shortening as you do more reps. Alexander says that eccentric exercises, in which muscle fibers lengthen during the loading phase, have many benefits.

During eccentric movement, muscles can be pushed harder for better results. Research has shown that focusing on the eccentric part of a movement can result in greater strength and power.

Increased muscle power can be attributed by these effects. Working concentrically more force is produced than eccentricity, and fiber recruitment is higher. Alexander explains that this results in a more effective workout.

Szczyglowski explains that this additional muscle fiber recruitment can have practical benefits. Think about slowing down after a sprint, landing from a vertical leap, lowering your bar to your chest while bench pressing, or sitting down on a chair. This ability can help you controlling your force and movements both. This skill is equally important in daily life just as much in sports.

Who Should Try Eccentric Training?

Anyone without joint pain can add eccentric training to their routine. As long as proper technique is used within a reasonable limit.

Szczyglowski recommends that beginners practice basic movements before moving on to more advanced techniques such as eccentric training. “Most movements already have an eccentric or concentric component. Szczyglowski says that if you are comfortable doing an exercise, it can be beneficial to emphasize the eccentric.

Experiential training can spice up your lifting routine, regardless of whether you want strength gains or not.

How to Add Eccentric Training to Your Routine

There are many ways to do so, To keep your training fresh and adaptable, it’s a good idea every so often to change your methods. No matter what your training method, one must warm up with Dynamic moves and keep hydrated all the time.

  • Add specific exercises. Alexander explains that as the weight falls from waist-high to the floor, the tension in the hamstrings will gradually increase.
  • Take it slow: slowly begin a new exercise routine. Start with comfortable movements, and with a lower volume than what you would normally load. Szczyglowski advises that it is better to do more reps or to increase resistance in a second workout than to overload on one.
  • Control is key: Szczyglowski says that starting with lighter weights and slower speeds and then moving to heavier or faster is a good way to go. try isometric holds an lighter resistance if you aren’t able to control. It’ll help you gain control. A weight machine is a device that allows you to weigh yourself and has a fail-safe feature to help you catch it.
  • Alexander recommends adding eccentric work to your workout for a severe burnout.
  • Exercises with a partner: “Using a buddy can be a fun and unique way to add some variety to your training.” Grab a friend and load up a lift carrying 75% to 80% of your maximum one-rep weight. Your partner can help you bring the weight to a full contraction. The slowly lengthen the muscle. Alexander suggests: “This requires time under tension and core control.”
  • Recovery varies from person to person. the ones who do not regularly exercise, they need to take time between sessions. Szczyglowski says that the body needs adjustment after exercise.

Eccentric exercise can lead to more muscle soreness. It is possible to lift a heavier weight than you would with regular repetitions. With muscles growing longer you will have to reduce your weight, to prevent it from falling.

It is important to be aware of your breathing and form. If you feel strange twinges of pain or discomfort, don’t give up on your form.

The Takeaway

Eccentric training can be a great addition to your workouts. It can help you gain muscle fibers, strengthen weak areas or break through plateaus in strength. You can create a more functional, healthier body by staying consistent and challenging yourself. It is important to remember that form is still the most important aspect of resistance training, so it is crucial to take time to recover.