2 bodybuilding techniques to develop your muscles
- Strength training involves different types of muscle contractions with unique benefits, according to a personal trainer.
- Eccentric exercise involves lengthening, helping to increase muscle size by causing more stress.
- Concentric exercise involves shortening muscles, which builds strength and can be easier to recover from.
According to a personal trainer, using multiple strength training techniques can help you get the most out of workouts.
According to Chris Travis, owner and trainer at Seattle Strength and Performance.
“Our core value is that strength training is for everyone. We try to make it accessible to everyone because we believe it’s so beneficial to your life,” he told Insider. “In the first few weeks people feel so much stronger and better because their bodies are adjusting to something that has never been done before.”
Using the right type of exercise can help you balance your workouts for your specific goals, like increasing muscle size, maximizing strength, or even helping recover from sore muscles.
“It’s all tools in the toolbox, it depends on what you’re trying to train for,” Travis said.
Eccentric moves like negatives are great for building muscle and perfecting your form
Resistance or strength training involves putting pressure on your muscles to make them adapt by getting stronger (and often bigger in the process). When your muscles contract as you lengthen, this is called an eccentric exercise.
Eccentric movements typically involve the downward portion of an exercise, such as slowly bringing the weight back after a bicep curl.
One of the main benefits of eccentric exercise is that it creates a lot of tension, which encourages your muscles to get bigger and stronger and helps maximize gains.
“We do a lot of eccentric work because it builds muscle really well and we do it in a way that people who are starting strength training aren’t moving too quickly and understanding range of motion,” said said Travis.
An example of using eccentric work to build muscle is adding tempo to an exercise such as a TRX row, lowering the count by three rather than dropping it all at once.
Eccentric exercises can also help all athletes, but especially beginners, build their ability to exercise more with good form, instead of using momentum or compromising position.
“A lot of times people repeat this and their body position can go crazy. Forcing them to slow down on the eccentric helps maintain body awareness and stability,” Travis said.
Practicing only the eccentric part of a movement is known as a negative – an example is jumping up or stepping up a pull-up and slowly descending with control to build the correct muscle groups to improve your pull-up strength. You can use a similar technique to improve pushups by starting with a plank, working your way down to the bottom of the position, then resetting.
Beginners can also benefit from an isometric exercise, which involves strengthening yourself in a static position, because it has low impact on the joints and also helps build stability and good form, Travis said.
Concentric exercises like sled pushes improve strength and are less likely to hurt you
Exercises that cause your muscles to contract while shortening are called concentric. They’re great for building muscle strength and endurance, Travis said, especially with compound exercises that involve multiple muscle groups, like increasing the weight with deadlifts.
Concentric exercises are less likely to cause delayed onset muscle soreness, the phenomenon that can make you too sore to hit the gym the next day. to research suggests. Therefore, trainers recommend trying low-impact concentric work like sled pushes or cycling for active recovery, to improve blood flow to muscles and promote muscle repair.