My 3 favorite interventions for improving mobility are stretching, foam rolling and eccentrics. Stretching and foam rolling are both well known and utilized far and wide to gain mobility excellence everywhere. The lesser known step brother of the mobility family is Mr. eccentric.
What Are Eccentrics and Why Should We Use Them For Improving Mobility?
Eccentrics consist of a muscle firing while it is lengthening. Think of lowering a heavy barbell back down to the floor slowly after lifting it up. The hamstring muscles are firing to control the load to the floor, but they are lengthening at the same time. That’s an eccentric contraction.
What’s cool about eccentric contractions is that they’re known to help improve flexibility. Unlike stretching, they actually change the muscular structure and add additional sarcomeres (units that provide muscular contraction in a muscle) in series to increase length of the muscle tissue.
They’re also phenomenal for building strength throughout a full range of motion at a specific joint. For these reasons I love adding eccentrics as part of a comprehensive program to increase mobility.
Just like stretching and foam rolling, I am a big fan of searching the literature to see what’s the most effective dosage for eccentrics. What dosage will maximize our return with eccentrics? I made a quick video below to show what I’ve found in the literature and how to add eccentrics into your mobility routine:
If you enjoyed this short clip then I wanted to let you know it’s part of a much longer webinar series included with subscription into my Fitness Pain Free Insiders Online Mentoring Program:
I created this series because coaches and personal trainers everywhere are working with athletes in pain every day of the week. This series will tell you exactly what to do (and what not to do) with these athletes so they can continue working towards their goals and prevent injuries in the long haul.
- 7 Reasons Why Athletes Get Hurt in the Gym and What to do About It
- Evidence Based Guide to Mobility Prescription
- What is Pain and What You Need to Know When Dealing with Athletes in Pain
- How to Modify Exercises for Athletes with Knee, Lower Back, Shoulder and Hip Pain
- Plus 30+ hours of webinars about all things fitness and rehabilitation
I lower everything slowly,
Dan Pope DPT, OCS, CSCS, CF L1