Why You Should Try Eccentric Training + 3 Moves To Get Started
If you’re looking to switch up your routine to push past a fitness plateau or take your weight training results to the next level, we have a technique for you to try. It’s all about moving slowwwww!
Don’t get us wrong, we LOVE a great HIIT workout where you push your limits by turning up the speed! But you also gain serious benefits from turning the pace way down on bodyweight moves and those with weights ~ particularly on the downward phase of the exercise. This type of training is known as eccentric exercise and research backs its benefits for improving your strength and muscle gains and even your flexibility!
In fact, studies show that eccentric exercises can quickly improve your strength and build your muscles. AND they can boost the number of calories you burn after your workout (even when you’re resting!). Other research shows that because you’re moving slowly through the part of an exercise that lengthens your muscles, you can improve your range of motion ~ aka your flexibility. This is particularly true for muscles like your hamstrings, say when you do squats or deadlifts. It’s totally normal to feel sore after doing these types of movements ~ that just means you’re doing it right! Make sure you stretch and foam roll after a session.
To explain how eccentric exercises work, let’s talk about our fave move ~ aka the squat! When you stand up from a squat, you’re working your legs and glutes concentrically, or shortening the muscle fibers. If you hold the squat at the bottom, you’re torching your lower half in an isometric way. The eccentric action comes when you lower into your squat ~ that’s when your muscle fibers lengthen. To really target that movement, you simply slow it down, say by taking 3, 5, even 10 seconds to get to the bottom.
Try eccentric training with the 3 moves below (or any move during your Tone It Up app workouts) and let us know how you like it! We want to hear your strength wins using #TIUteam! Let’s get it!
Works your legs and booty!
Begin standing with feet hip-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand with the weights at your shoulders. On a count of 5, slowly lower down into a squat, sending your hips down and back. Driving through your heels, come back up to standing on a count of 1.
Do 10 reps.
Targets your hamstrings, booty, and core!
Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a dumbbell in each hand in front of your thighs. Maintaining a flat back and a soft bend in your knees, hinge at the hips as you lower your torso toward the ground, keeping the dumbbells close to your shins. Move slowly, taking 5 counts to reach the bottom. Engage your booty and core as you drive through your heels to come up to standing on a count of 1.
Do 10 reps.
Eccentric Bent Over Row
Works your arms and back!
Begin standing, feet hip-width apart. Hold a dumbbell in each hand, palms facing each other. Send your hips back and chest forward to hit a bent-over position, back flat and shoulders relaxed down your back. In this bent-over position, pull the dumbbells toward you, rowing your elbows straight back and keeping them close to your sides. Straighten your arms back out on a count of 5, keeping it slow and controlled.
Do 10 reps.
Looking for more expert fitness tips and moves to achieve your fitness goals? Join us in the Tone It Up app for hundreds of workouts programmed to get you the best results!