Eccentric exercise builds stronger muscles at a rapid rate due to increased muscular micro-tears. Strength moves are performed with a one to two second lift followed by at least five seconds of lowering. Runners and weightlifters should enhance their legs muscle growth with an eccentric workout routine.
Maximize Leg Day with an Eccentric Workout Routine
Eccentric training causes more micro-tears in the targeted muscles than concentric training as the muscle fibers lengthen back out during the lowering part, eccentric phase, of an exercise. According to the Journal of Physiology, eccentric exercises are extremely challenging to the muscle fibers, leading to enhanced soreness and stiffness. Any athlete can maximize their muscle growth with eccentric training through moderation.
Eccentric leg exercises
Leg day is the most important workout of the week. Leg exercises are the foundation of strength and muscle building. Adding eccentric exercises to a leg day workout increases leg muscle strength and growth. Some basic eccentric exercise examples include:
- Calf raises
- Leg extensions
- Leg raises
- Straight-leg deadlift
Squats are one of the central power-lifting moves and the cornerstone of any leg workout. To perform an eccentric squat stand with your feet hip-width apart and bend at the knees to push your bottom towards the floor. Slowly lower your body as you bend your knees until you end at a 90-degree angle with a quicker standing phase.
For an eccentric leg extension, spend one second in the extension phase and ten seconds on the lowering phase. Extend your knees as you exhale while the rest of your body is seated and exhale as you slowly lower the weight. Ensure you don’t go past the 90 degree limit as you perform the leg extension.
You should target your abs every other day, so add leg raises to your eccentric workout routine hit your abdomen, hip flexors and thighs. Start laying on your back with your palms facing down and slowly hover your heels above the floor. Raise your legs upwards until you create a 90-degree angle with your body and slowly lower your legs, but don’t let your heels touch the floor.
Eccentric leg exercises for runners
Eccentric training is especially beneficial for runners, because it helps build leg strength and endurance. The National Strength and Conditioning Association found eccentric training helps distance runners build leg strength through muscle activation while running downhill. Find a hill with a slight incline and run down at a controlled speed to take advantage of eccentric running.
Calf raises help runners build muscle and strength. Eccentric calf raises start with a one-second concentric phase and an eccentric phase at least five seconds in length. Perform three sets of 10-15 repetitions.
Eccentric straight leg deadlifts help strengthen the hamstrings. Lower your body as slowly as possible to stretch the hamstring and return to a standing position. Ensure you keep your back straight and knees soft, but straight to execute the move correctly.
Pure Charge Your Eccentric Workout Routine
Eccentric workout routines build muscle and strength, but come with soreness and stiffness on the side. A protein shake after eccentric training helps muscle recovery. Learn more about plant based protein powder and enhance your workout!