Our muscles contract three ways. Concentric contractions represent the shortening of a muscle and is often signified by raising the load. Eccentric contractions are the type of contraction that lengthens a muscle and is often signified by the lowering of the load. Isometric contractions place our muscles and the load at an even stalemate and is often signified by a hold under tension of some kind.
Some movements like the one in the photo above (a sled push) have an extreme concentric focus. The leg that posts to push the sled forward does so with a concentric effort and when it’s time to eccentrically load that leg the load is gone and the other foot is taking over to move the sled concentrically again. In an odd way, the movement is most only concentric. A squat, for example, might be concentrically dominant, but you still need to lower the weight before you stand up, so it isn’t as concentrically focused as the sled push.
What does this mean, you ask? Well, removing eccentrics gives the movement a bee line to intensity. There’s no muscle burning eccentrics slowing us down. Also, eccentrics are the most muscle damaging type of contraction, so they fatigue us faster. Get those pesky eccentrics out of there and virtually any athlete of any skill level can find their “red line” of top end intensity. Pretty cool, huh?
Can you think of another movement that’s concentric heaven?
Find a heavy set of 5 for pull ups…
Then, complete 2 rounds for quality of:
10 Single Arm DB Row
15 DB Skull Crushers
Then, complete 5 rounds for time of:
30 American Kettlebell Swings (54/35)