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Eccentric exercise testing and trainingSome researchers and practitioners have touted the benefits of including eccentric exercise in strength training programs. However, others have challenged its use because they believe that eccentric actions are dangerous and lead to injuries. Much of the controversy may be based on a lack of understanding of the physiology of eccentric actions. This review will present data concerning eccentric exercise in strength training, the physiological characteristics of eccentric exercise, and the possible stimulus for strength development. Also a discussion of strength needs for extended exposure to microgravity will be presented. Not only is the use of eccentric exercise controversial, but the name itself is fraught with problems. The correct pronunciation is with a hard 'c' so that the word sounds like ekscentric. The confusion in pronunciation may have been prevented if the spelling that Asmussen used in 1953, excentric, had been adopted. Another problem concerns the expressions used to describe eccentric exercise. Commonly used expressions are negatives, eccentric contractions, lengthening contractions, resisted muscle lengthenings, muscle lengthening actions, and eccentric actions. Some of these terms are cumbersome (i.e., resisted muscle lengthenings), one is slang (negatives), and another is an oxymoron (lengthening contractions). Only eccentric action is appropriate and adoption of this term has been recommended by Cavanagh. Despite the controversy that surrounds eccentric exercise, it is important to note that these types of actions play an integral role in normal daily activities. Eccentric actions are used during most forms of movement, for example, in walking when the foot touches the ground and the center of mass is decelerated and in lowering objects, such as placing a bag of groceries in the car.
Document ID
Document Type
Conference Paper
Clarkson, Priscilla M.
(Massachusetts Univ. Amherst, MA, United States)
Date Acquired
September 6, 2013
Publication Date
February 1, 1994
Publication Information
Publication: NASA. Johnson Space Center, Workshop on Countering Space Adaptation with Exercise: Current Issues
Subject Category
Aerospace Medicine
Accession Number
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.
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