Many athletics do not know the importance or the differences between concentric and
eccentric resistance training when it comes to gaining strength. To get a basic understanding,
Architectural, functional and molecular responses to concentric and eccentric loading in human
skeletal muscle explains that the skeletal muscles contract by shortening (concentric) or
lengthening (eccentric) (Franchi et al., 2014). When the muscle contracts, it tenses and acts as a
lever while pulling on the bones of the body part being moved.
Now, to determine which one is better to focus when trying to gain strength. In recent
studies, researchers have done experiments with certain exercises to see if there was any
improvement or significant difference between concentric or eccentric movement. Each study
focused on the lower extremity of the body by doing leg extensions, leg presses, traditional
hamstring, and Nordic hamstring. After the exercises were complete, the researchers reviewed
the results to analyze if concentric or eccentric had any significant differences.
Once reviewing the results, each study noticed there was muscle growth within
concentric and eccentric with different morphological adaption in fibre fascicle behaviour and
molecular responses (Franchi et al., 2014). There was no significant difference when applying
both concentric and eccentric movements. There was also no significant difference when
applying only concentric movements during the exercises. Finally, there was a slight increase in
muscle volume in the eccentric movements. The researchers found an 11% improvement when
focusing on maximum eccentric hamstring exercises (Mjølsnes et al., 2004).
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Franchi, M. V., Atherton, P. J., Reeves, N. D., Flück, M., Williams, J., Mitchell, W. K., & … Narici,
M. V. (2014). Architectural, functional and molecular responses to concentric and
eccentric loading in human skeletal muscle. Acta Physiologica, 210(3), 642-654.
Gois, M. O., Campoy, F. S., Alves, T., Avila, R. P., Vanderlei, L. M., & Pastre, C. M. (2014). The
influence of resistance exercise with emphasis on specific contractions (concentric vs.
eccentric) on muscle strength and post-exercise autonomic modulation: a randomized
clinical trial. Brazilian Journal Of Physical Therapy, 18(1), 30-37.
Mjølsnes, R., Arnason, A., Østhagen, T., Raastad, T., & Bahr, R. (2004). A 10-week randomized
trial comparing eccentric vs. concentric hamstring strength training in well-trained
soccer players. Scandinavian Journal Of Medicine & Science In Sports, 14(5), 311-317.