An eccentric muscle contraction occurs when a muscle produces force as it is lengthened. For example, during the biceps curl exercise, the eccentric contraction of the biceps muscle occurs when the weight is lowered from the shoulders to the hips.
One recent study documented the popularity of eccentric resistance training among strength and conditioning coaches. A total of 64 strength coaches from the United Kingdom and elsewhere were asked about their opinions on eccentric training for youth athletes. The coaches were asked about the importance of eccentric training and how frequently they prescribe it to their athletes.
A total of 96% of the strength coaches agreed or strongly agreed eccentric training was important for youth athletes. When the coaches were asked about the importance of eccentric training versus concentric and isometric training, 100% rated eccentric training as important or highly important, 79% rated isometric training as important or highly important, and 74% rated concentric training as important or highly important. The most highly cited reason for using eccentric training with youth athletes was injury prevention. Also, most coaches prescribed eccentric training 1-3 days per week. However, this prescription depended on the age of the athlete. Coaches prescribed eccentric training more frequently for older youth athletes.
The results from the survey illustrate that strength and conditioning coaches hold favourable views of eccentric resistance training. They implement it regularly and recommend its use for injury prevention in youth athletes.
Strength and conditioning coaches often prescribe eccentric exercise for injury prevention of the hamstrings muscles. To complete eccentric hamstring training with the V-Form trainer:
- attach the bar
- select the “Romandian deadlift (RDL)” exercise
- select “eccentric only” mode
- select the desired resistance and number of repetitions
- set the movement range of motion for the exercise with the first three calibration repetitions
- once the exercise begins, pause at the top of the movement to load the eccentric phase
- control the load slowly down to the bottom of the training range then let the resistance unload before lifting the bar back up
- repeat the movement until the desired number of repetitions have been completed
Drury B, et al. Eccentric resistance training in youth: a survey of perceptions and current practices by strength and conditioning coaches. Journal of Functional Morphology and Kinesiology 6, 2021. https://doi.org/10.3390/jfmk6010021.