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Eccentric movement refers to the contraction of muscles under stress while the muscle fibers lengthen. Simply put, it means you work your muscle as you lengthen it. This strengthens your joints and muscles to make them resistant to damage.To minimize your risk of knee injuries, use eccentric knee exercises as part of your workout.
When the muscles and tissues of the thighs or hamstrings are lengthened while under tension, the stress applied to the muscles and knee is greater than when they are shortened under tension, according to the "International Journal of Sports Therapy." This results in greater strength and stability gain in the muscles and knees in eccentric contraction rather than concentric contraction, which is the shortening of muscle fibers under tension. Combined with mobility training, the tendons, ligaments and connective tissues of the knee become resilient to injury and damage. If you are new to exercise, work with a qualified fitness coach before working out on your own.
Isolation Vs. Integration
Isolation training focuses mostly on the knee joint with little regard for other joints of the lower body, such as your ankles and hip. This method is often used in physical rehabilitation to gain mobility and stability of the knee before integrating the full-body approach. Exercises such as supine heel slides, prone knee flexion and extension and seated knee extension and flexion are all examples. If you are healthy and have no knee problems, include integration exercises that work multiple body parts and joints together. This method improves movement patterns, core stability and knee strength. Sample exercises include standing lunges, eccentric squats and walking at an incline.
The lunge pattern reveals if one side of your body is stronger or more coordinated than the other side. It is also essential for learning to decelerate your body so that your risk of getting a knee or hamstring injury is less, says physical therapist Gray Cook, author of "Athletic Body in Balance." To do a basic lunge, stand with your left foot in front of you about two feet in front of your right foot. Point both feet forward and hold a broomstick or a similar object on your shoulders. Inhale and slowly lunge down until your right knee gently touches the ground at a rate of three seconds. Keep your left knee aligned with the second toe of your left foot as you lunge. Exhale as you stand straight up, at a rate of about one second. Do not hunch forward as you stand. Once you are able to do the basic lunge well, add resistance, such as holding a heavy medicine ball in front of you or holding a dumbbell in each hand as you lunge.
The squat also works your knees and all lower-body muscles as well as your core stability. Stand with your legs about shoulder-distance apart and extend your hands in front of you. Inhale as you squat down as low as you can at a rate of about three seconds. Do not hunch your back, keep your knees aligned with your toes to maintain ankle health and keep your heels on the ground. Exhale as you stand up at a rate of one second. Once you can do the body-weight squat well, add resistance such as hold a dumbbell in each hand over and near your shoulders or holding a heavy medicine ball near your chest.