I think sometimes we forget that good old eccentric training can be an effective way to gain mobility. It’s a well studied phenomenon and under utilized tool in my opinion. A couple reasons why eccentrics can be more useful that just foam rolling:
- Build control and stability at end range movement – Not only are you building mobility but we’re also building control and stability at end ranges of motion. Being strong at the bottom of a pull-up for example can be helpful to prevent injury during higher rep sets of muscle-ups or kipping.
- Efficiency – Utilizing the right eccentric exercises can help simultaneously build strength in not only the lats but others area like the core demonstrated in the exercises below. Now you’re working multiple qualities as opposed to something like stretching where the only goal is gaining length in a muscle.
- Hypertrophy – Time under tension with exercises is an important variable to apply in order to build muscle mass. Often times hypertrophy training is villified for making people stiff or muscle-bound but if applied properly can do exactly the opposite.
Eccentrics have been shown to be equally as beneficial to gain length as stretching so why not give them a shot? Here’s a video below of a few of my favorite lat eccentric exercises to gain length with some specific advice on sets / reps and frequency. Check it out:
Want to know exactly how I evaluate and treat overhead mobility restrictions? I recently covered this topic extremely in depth on my last 3 Webinars on my FPF Insiders Online Mentoring Group. Sign up today for only $7.99 I think you’re going to learn a ton!
Dan Pope DPT, OCS, CSCS, CF L1