Eccentric Training at milon Premium Health Clubs, Marina Mirage
Written by Matt Wratten, Exercise Physiologist
The Benefits of Eccentric Training
Now this isn’t referring to that eccentric person at the gym who is a little strange or exhibits slight strange behaviour. It’s not even referring to some new kind of exercise fad that’s a little bit different! What I’m talking about is utilising eccentric contractions as part of your resistance training program. But do you know an eccentric contraction is and how it could benefit your health and wellbeing?
What is an Eccentric Contraction?
An eccentric contraction is when the muscles are lengthening under load and the force should be smaller than the load to generate lengthening muscle contractions. For example, when performing a bicep curl, the action of lowering the dumbbell back down from the lift is the eccentric phase, if you don’t let it drop! Research shows that an eccentric contraction allows you to produce 30-50% more force than when performing a concentric contraction.
Benefits of Eccentric Contractions
The benefits of eccentric contractions for our health and wellbeing found in the research, include -
Prevention of Sarcopenia which is the degenerative loss of skeletal muscle;
Greater increase in muscle mass than concentric training;
Improves muscle function and coordination, greater than concentric contraction;
Improves balance and flexibility;
Decreases the risk of osteoporosis by increasing bone mineral density;
Causes you to use more brain power when performing the exercise, but showed increased brain function post exercise which has implications for brain health;
Improvement in insulin sensitivity which can help improve type 2 Diabetes;
Can reduce the impact of metabolic syndrome which is the combination of abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high glucose, triglycerides and low HDL in blood;
Efficient and safe alternate exercise for chronic heart failure;
Safe training modality for Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD);
Means of resistance training for cancer patients due to high force and low energetic cost;
Effective training technique for Multiple Sclerosis by improving muscle performance and balance;
Maintaining and building strength and muscle size in immobilised limbs of stroke patients;
Lower blood lactate so you don’t get the ‘burn’ when performing eccentric exercise;
Full-body eccentric training causes muscles to burn more energy at rest for up to 72 hours after exercise;
Stimulate the brain more and could attenuate the development of dementia.
More research is being undertaken, which should highlight even more benefits to our health and wellbeing.
What about the muscle damage?
Now for those who have done any eccentric contractions before, you would have experienced delayed onset of muscle soreness (DOMS). Training eccentrically does not have to be ‘No Pain, No Gain’. Research shows that a gradual increase in eccentric loading showed no indications of muscle damage. Training using the milon equipment is broken into phases which allows the gradual increase in eccentric loading which reduces your risk of muscle soreness and muscle damage.
How to train Eccentric Contractions
You could use conventional resistance training machines or free weights and slowing down the elongation of the muscle. In the modern age of technology, a German company, milon has been pioneering the use of eccentric contractions with their unique equipment. The Australian Premium Health Club for milon is based on the Gold Coast. The resistance machines provide the unique ability to utilise both concentric and eccentric resistance. More impressively, the equipment can be adjusted to give greater eccentric than concentric loading.
Would like to start benefiting from the health and wellbeing benefits mentioned above?
Come and visit milon Premium Health Clubs at Marina Mirage, Main Beach, for a FREE TRIAL, and start benefiting your health and wellbeing by utilising eccentric contractions.