WODdoc Episode 79 Project365: Increase Muscle-up Strength

How do we build strength in an activity like muscle-ups? One way is to deload it so we can complete the full exercise.  We covered this in a couple different ways this week using big bands. Another way is to use eccentric loading. Anyone who has been around strength and conditioning knows what eccentric exercise is but, we are going to cover the bases and give everyone the 411.

What is eccentric exercise?

There are 2 types of muscle contraction. Concentric is when muscle contracts and shortens… think bicep curl. Eccentric is when the muscle is contracting but lengthening at the same time… think slowly lowering the bicep curl down (doing a negative). Eccentric exercise is exercise using eccentric contractions.

Benefits of Eccentric Exercises:

1. Eccentric exercise promotes higher muscle hypertrophy.  Why?… because it causes more muscle fiber damage.   This might sound like a bad thing but understand this is happening at a microscopic level.  Its this “microtrauma” that promotes muscle fiber building.  End result… bigger, stronger muscle tissue.

2. Eccentric training increases concentric power. I am not going to get all nerdy on this one and go into increased cross-bridging and all that…. just understand eccentric training promotes muscle growth. Stronger muscles in turn will be able to create harder contractions.

3. You are naturally stronger eccentrically. Just think about it. Take a bench press.  You can lower a heavier weight to your chest then you can press back up. This is why today’s exercise works so well.  You many not be able to pull yourself through the transition but doing eccentric muscle-ups will grove the pattern and increase your strength at the same time.

4. Eccentric exercise increases flexibility. It has been shown that lengthening tissue while under tension is more effective at increase flexibility then static stretching. Just another added benefit of doing today’s exercise. Not only are we increasing shoulder strength but increasing flexibility as well.

Today’s WODdocket:

1. Complete 5 sets of 3 eccentric muscle-ups (use band as needed) Descend slowly!!!