eccentric contraction

Installment 3 of 10 ‘Benefits of Pilates’

Rachel Fitness, Pilates Leave a comment   , , , , ,

It is time to learn point 3 of 10 in the top 10 reasons to maintain a Pilates Practice:

3. Creates Strength Without Bulk

Long, lean muscles are the name of the game here. In Pilates, we are not looking to build muscles for show. We are building toned muscles that work perfectly within the context of the body as a whole, and the functional fitnessneeds of a person as they move through life.One of the ways that Pilates creates long, strong muscles is by taking advantage of a type of muscle contraction called an eccentric contraction.

By the way, eccentric contractions take place when one lengthens the muscle (versus shortening a muscle during a concentric contraction) while resisting a movement.  For example, the inward phase of a bicep curl, as the hand bends in towards the shoulder, is a concentric contraction; however, when one resists the return, slowly lengthening the arm back out, an eccentric contraction takes place. The muscle is being used and building strength yet growing longer at the same time.  Since so much of Pilates is about resistance, it is a discipline where the ‘eccentric contraction cup’ runneth over.  Pilates effectively develops long, lean muscles because of this very emphasis on the lengthening stage, or eccentric portion, of muscle contraction!
Come back to learn about benefit 4 of 10 tomorrow!

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