There are three types of muscle contractions an athlete should try and hit throughout their weekly or monthly training: eccentric, concentric, and isometric.
The concentric phase is the fun stuff! This is actually the "press" on a bench press, or a "lift" on a deadlift.
The eccentric phase is the "lowering" of weight or resistance. Although it may not be as exciting or pretty as the concentric phase, it definitely is just as important, if not more important.
This is the phase we love to throw TEMPO in with! Adding in tempo to the eccentric phase allows you to challenge yourself with more moderate weight, work muscles longer, while still maintaining paper form. As we like to say, sometimes the slower you go, the faster you get stronger.
The isometric phase is the one we want to highlight today! This phase is when you hold a static position. This can be at the bottom of a squat, or can be a movement such as a plank, wall-sit, dead bug, etc. Although crazy important, the isometric phase, unfortunately is the one that is often skipped, and sometimes, even neglected completely; especially in group fitness. This is a shame due to it's importance and benefits!
The isometric phase is essential for core stability, injury prevention, and the list goes on. Although it may not be the most exciting phase in a fitness program, be sure to incorporate it! Incorporating it will allow you to move better, safer, and more efficient in those more "exciting" movements as you progress with your fitness and/or sport.
If you're looking for a way to throw an isolated movement/exercise into you routine, we love to use them as an active recovery in our Power or Conditioning stations. For instance, we might throw a forearm plank into the mix with Russian KB Swings and Box Jumps in order to get the heart-rate down while still building strength in-between exercises and sets.
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