Focus on Negative Movement (or Eccentric) During Weights

What is negative or eccentric movement? Negative movement is essentially the downward movement during lifting of weights where you lower the weight towards the body. In a simpler explanation maybe, it's the part of the movement that is the 'end part' as we are return muscles and weights to the starting point of the exercise.

Did you know that muscles can produce most force during the eccentric phase of your exercise. For example, you can always seem to lower a heavy weight more easily (and control it) than you can lift.

Most of the time you'll see people complete this part of their exercise more quickly than the engagement (or first) part of the exercise in question.

The negative movement is usually forgotten and not seen as important enough, or is too difficult thanks to the weight being lifted being too heavy to lift with complete control.

Shortening or Lengthening?

Eccentric or Negative movement is all about the lengthening of the muscle. Contraction is at the start of the exercise as you lift, push or pull the weight. As you then go through to the latter stage of the exercise, when you return to the starting position, with heavy weights this part of the movement is the bit that will tear the muscle fibres if controlled. As a result it will make us stronger.

Are There Machines to Help?

The good news is that you also don’t need special equipment. It is out there, called X Force resistance machines which are 40% heavier on the negative movement but you can simply use any weight equipment or free weights. The key point here is how you perform this part of the exercise.

The key is to continue resistance as you complete the end part of the movement. Done properly this will hurt! But slow the movement down until the weight is back to its starting point and you will soon feel the difference. We also wouldn’t advise that you do this in every weight lifting session. Start by doing it at least once a week and build up, you will see the difference very quickly

Useful Links

Why not check out our free weights and strength training equipment to help you find suitable equipment to focus on the negative movement for your workout. You can also call us for more detailed information.