Strength Training Tweak To Lower Injury Risk

Safely executed strength training in almost any form has been proven in study after study to lower injury risk. That's not exactly breaking news at this point
However, there is a specific aspect within your strength workouts that has the greatest impact on protecting you from injury.
It happens during what is called the eccentric part of your lifts.
What is that, exactly?
Each repetition can be broken down into 3 phases - concentric, isometric and eccentric.
The concentric phase is the actual lift part where you move an object (a weight, band, or even yourself).
There's also an isometric phase, which is basically the time when you change directions from lowering a weight to raising it. This can be prolonged intentionally by pausing, or it can be extremely brief, but it is there if even for just a microsecond.
Then there's the lowering, or eccentric phase.
Slowing down the eccentric phase, even by just taking 2 seconds to control the resistance on each repetition, has been shown to do all of the following:
  • Improves the health of your tendons, decreasing the likelihood of overuse strains or pulls.
  • Increases your muscular coordination, making it less likely you land in awkward positions during sport
  • Increases your range of motion, lowering your risk for muscle pulls
Not a bad return for just showing a little patience!
But of course, what do most people do when lifting?
They let weights fall at nearly 100 miles an hour, basically slamming them into themselves to get a rebound at the bottom in order to lift more weight.
Athletes have a lot to gain by consistently training with weights using a more controlled eccentric phase.
For those who are eager to lift bigger weights, you should also know that over time that tendon strength you build by properly lowering weights will also drastically increase your ability to lift heavier weights in the future.
Using a controlled eccentric phase on your lifts is beneficial not just for athletes, but for everyone who strength trains.

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