The ABC’s Of Muscle Contractions
You pick up a dumbbell and curl. You get on the ground to do push-ups. Yeah, you’d feel the burn, but do you know why? Of course, your muscles are hard at work, but they must go through different contractions, or movements to complete everyday actions. It’s recommended to use all muscle contractions, as the muscles will be exercised from every angle.
When a muscle contracts, the muscle is in a concentric contraction. For example, when you do a biceps curl, the biceps are in a concentric contraction. This type of contraction is used to build and develop muscles. 1
Eccentric movements occur when a muscle lengthens or extends. This happens when you lower the weight after you did a bicep curl, for instance. Because the muscle has been lengthened, the muscle must work even harder, resulting in more strength. 2
A muscle that’s in an isometric contraction won’t shorten or lengthen. Instead, the muscle will simply be under tension without moving, like when doing the plank exercise. Isometric contractions won’t build a lot of strength but will recruit more muscles through stabilization. This means you’ll use more muscles because they’re needed to support the main muscles needed. 3