You’ll have already come throughout movies or seen of us within the fitness center doing eccentric reps, or gradual, managed downward parts of a raise. In the event you’re centered on hamstring power or dimension, you’ll need to take into account together with them in your program.
However are you aware which workout routines are the perfect to do with eccentric reps?
The 8 greatest eccentric hamstring workout routines are:
- Eccentric Nordic curls
- Eccentric GHD
- Eccentric deadlift
- Eccentric stiff-leg deadlift/RDL
- Seated/mendacity leg curl
- Standing leg curl
- Cable leg curl
- Banded leg curl
On this article, I’ll clarify why these eccentric workout routines are so efficient, the way to do them, and their advantages and disadvantages. You’ll additionally discover a hamstring-strengthening PDF. On the finish, I’ll present a pattern eccentric hamstring exercise.
What Are Eccentric Hamstring Workouts?
Eccentric hamstring workout routines are lifts that exaggerate the downward or eccentric, portion of the raise with a low threat of hamstring strains. The eccentric can also be generally known as the unfavorable portion of the raise.
For instance, the eccentric, or unfavorable, portion of a deadlift is once you decrease it again all the way down to the ground. The unfavorable portion of a squat is once you descend right into a sitting place, and the eccentric portion of a bench press is once you decrease the bar to your chest.
Eccentric hamstring workout routines will goal your hamstrings as the first muscle and decelerate the unfavorable portion of the motion to extend the time beneath rigidity (TUT).
The tempo will differ based mostly in your desired stage of depth, load, reps, and many others. It could actually vary anyplace from 1 second to 10 seconds however often hangs round 3-6 seconds in most packages I’ve come throughout.
In the event you’re eager about studying extra about how slowing down your tempo will help your squat and bench press, try:
Anatomy of the Hamstrings
The hamstrings comprise three muscle groups – the semitendinosus, semimembranosus, and biceps femoris. These muscle groups run down the again of the leg (posterior chain) from the hips to the knee joints. The previous two hamstring muscle groups cross each the femoroacetabular (hips) and tibiofemoral (knees) joints. Nonetheless, the biceps femoris doesn’t cross the femoroacetabular joint on both leg.
All the hamstring muscle groups play a key position in hip extension (shifting the leg behind the physique) and knee flexion (elevating the decrease leg posteriorly). They’re additionally dominant within the latter a part of the gait cycle once you’re strolling forwards and stabilize the knee joint throughout any sort of motion.
4 Advantages of Doing Eccentric Hamstring Workouts
Past merely making your program just a little completely different and extra attention-grabbing, eccentric hamstring workout routines have 4 principal advantages:
- Added quantity
- Muscle power
- Muscle development
Certainly one of my favourite advantages of eccentrics is which you could get nice outcomes with means much less load than regular reps. By exaggerating the eccentric tempo, we have interaction the muscle fibers for extra time and might get muscle engagement and fatigue with out utilizing our regular load.
Of us who’re unable to get a heavy sufficient weight for his or her liking or wants or discover themselves in a scenario the place weight or gear is restricted can nonetheless get an excellent exercise and prepare the muscle groups for each power and dimension utilizing eccentrics.
In a pinch, eccentrics will will let you adapt your exercise and nonetheless make your positive aspects.
2. Added Quantity
Most lifters can management an eccentric portion of a raise higher than they will carry out the concentric or upward portion of the raise.
For instance, a lifter who can efficiently squat 315lbs will possible be capable of management 350 for the eccentric descent of the raise, even when they aren’t sturdy sufficient to face it again up.
Moreover, many lifters can proceed with a unfavorable portion of a raise even after they fail to finish the concentric portion of the raise. So a lifter whose bench press is weak off the chest should be capable of get a couple of eccentric reps of solely reducing the bar to their chest (assuming they’ve spotters to return the barbell to the highest of the raise with every descent).
This implies eccentrics current a possibility to get added quantity. With the assistance of spotters, you may put just a little extra work in your muscle fibers by knocking out a couple of eccentric reps on the finish of a set or as a drop set with lighter weight after your working units.
3. Muscle Energy
A 2002 examine within the Journal of Energy and Conditioning Analysis discovered that teams of educated athletes who included eccentric actions into their program noticed important power will increase within the concentric portion of the raise consequently.
In plain phrases, by having these athletes do extra unfavorable tempo work in sure workout routines, they have been stronger even on the concentric portion of the raise after they examined their power with the complete vary of movement.
Which means eccentrics are an effective way to strengthen a whole raise! By doing eccentric deadlift reps, for instance, you prepare your hamstrings (and each different deadlift muscle) to be stronger as you pull the bar up and set it again down.
Even when you may’t probably do extra deadlift reps in the usual format, you may nonetheless make power positive aspects by reducing the burden and performing eccentric reps.
4. Muscle Progress
A 2015 evaluate of different analysis discovered that eccentric reps yielded barely higher leads to muscle development than a management group that didn’t embody eccentric reps. Whereas the outcomes have been minor and never statistically important, we are able to at the least be assured that eccentric reps are simply as efficient as your normal full vary of movement train.
When achieved proper, it is best to have each confidence that eccentrics will develop your muscle groups.
8 Eccentric Hamstring Workouts
Listed here are some eccentric hamstring workout routines so that you can strive. For added info, you may obtain our hamstring strengthening workout routines PDF.
1. Eccentric Nordic Curls
Nordic curls suck in all the perfect methods. They’re laborious, they will take time to study and get proper, they usually can go away you wincing on the ground, unable to face up. And that’s why they’re nice!
You’ve possible seen them – your ft anchored right into a pad behind you so you may decrease your higher physique all the way in which ahead and use your hamstrings to twist your self again up. It appears like a biceps curl, however your hamstrings are your biceps. To do them in an eccentric trend, we merely lengthen the tempo or period of the downward portion.
How To Do It
- Utilizing a Nordic curl equipment, anchor your ft beneath the pad as you kneel on the opposite finish of the gear.
- Bending solely on the knee (not the hip), decrease your higher physique to the ground. Ensure this eccentric portion lasts for the specified tempo (e.g., 5 seconds).
- Get as near the ground as you may after which pull your self again upright, once more bending solely on the knee.
- If the unfavorable portion leaves you too drained to finish the return again to your start line, have a spotter help you again to the highest and carry out simply the eccentric reps.
These dangerous boys actually, REALLY isolate your hamstrings, so that only a few different muscle groups are actively working to finish the raise. If you maintain your hips locked the correct means, the hamstrings should do all of the work to decrease your physique and produce it again up.
By exaggerating the eccentric, lifters who’re unable to finish a full rep can start to construct the power to finally get there. For lifters who can already do full reps, the eccentrics can strengthen them with out introducing load.
You want a Nordic curl bench or equipment to do these. Certain, you would possibly discover a artistic technique to wedge your ft beneath one thing heavy or have a pal stand in your toes to hack them, however make certain your spotter is aware of what they’re doing and is ideally heavier than you so your ft don’t slip out and also you fall in your face!
2. Eccentric GHD
The GHD (glute and ham developer) is just like a Nordic curl bench however is elevated off the ground. Along with focusing on the hamstrings, workout routines will be altered to focus on the glutes, abs, erector spinae, and obliques.
- To carry out eccentric hamstring-focused workout routines on the GHD, climb up on the bench and safe your ft within the pads on the again.
- You’ll need your quads/decrease thighs to relaxation towards the entrance pad, not your hips, so it’s possible you’ll want to regulate the rear footplate to slip ahead to permit for this positioning.
- Bend solely on the knee as you decrease your self ahead. Enable the downward tempo to satisfy your program’s necessities (3 seconds, for instance), after which return to an upright place.
- Keep away from bending on the hip, as this can distract you from specializing in the hamstrings.
Much like the Nordic curl, the GHD hamstring eccentric curl is an effective way to isolate the hamstrings.
With the GHD being extra elevated (often about 3 ft off the bottom), it’s a lot simpler to have a spotter help you on the way in which again up, like by pushing in your shoulders when you attain the underside of the rep. You’ll be able to have spotters help you with every upward portion of the raise so you may give attention to managed, gradual eccentrics.
This requires a specialised piece of kit that not each public fitness center has, and even fewer folks have of their dwelling gyms. With out entry to the gear, you merely gained’t be capable of do these workout routines.
In the event you don’t have entry to a GHD machine, try these glute ham increase options.
3. Eccentric Deadlift
Though the web will debate whether or not a deadlift is a hamstring train or a again train, you don’t have to get caught up within the battle as a result of the reply is each, and it’s an excellent one to use eccentrics to if you wish to goal your hamstrings.
As we uncovered earlier, eccentrics can enhance power on the concentric, so coaching unfavorable deadlifts is an effective way to make your common deadlift stronger, particularly in your hamstrings.
- Carry out a deadlift as you usually would by stepping as much as the bar together with your ft shoulder-width aside.
- Bend your knees and bend ahead on the hip to seize the bar together with your arms totally prolonged. Your again ought to be at a couple of 45-degree angle.
- Holding on to the bar, press your ft into the ground and get up till the barbell meets your hips and also you’re standing upright.
- Decrease the bar in the identical path as you stood it up for the programmed period of time (like a 5-second eccentric tempo, for instance).
The deadlift is a superb hamstring train, so including eccentrics is a superb technique to strengthen your hamstrings and put together them for even larger, stronger deadlifts sooner or later.
Moreover, the deadlift is usually a well-known train to most lifters, and it may be achieved with minimal specialised gear. Most lifters can simply exaggerate their eccentric tempo and add this train to their program.
The deadlift is a compound raise, not an remoted raise, which means the hamstrings are simply one among many muscle teams working to finish every rep.
That’s nice for a lot of causes, however on this case, it could make it tough for lifters to focus on their hamstrings and guarantee they’re hitting the muscle as a lot as they need.
If that is so for you, it’s possible you’ll need to strive a few of my different really useful workout routines.
Do your hamstrings get excessively sore after deadlifts? I focus on why this occurs and how one can repair it in Hamstrings Sore After Deadlifts: Is This Good Or Dangerous?
4. Eccentric Stiff-Leg Deadlift/RDL
The stiff-leg deadlift or Romanian deadlift (RDL) are deadlift variations that decision for the lifter to keep away from bending on the knee throughout a deadlift. Whereas they’re barely completely different, their impact on the hamstrings are comparable, so I’ve bundled them collectively right here.
By hinging solely on the hip, we are able to goal completely different muscle teams, like your hamstrings. Once more, we’ll merely decelerate the eccentric portion to the specified tempo to change these for our functions.
- Step as much as a barbell simply as you’d for a deadlift together with your ft about shoulder-width aside.
- Bend your knees solely barely.
- Bending on the hip, attain down for the bar.
- Your again ought to be nearly parallel to the bottom since your knees will not be bent as a lot as a standard deadlift.
- Choose up the burden together with your arms straight, bend on the hip, and push your hips ahead till you might be standing upright with the barbell at your hips.
- Decrease the bar again to the bottom slowly, following the prescribed eccentric tempo. Push your hips backward as you decrease the bar to the ground.
This deadlift variation lets you focus much more on the hamstrings than a normal deadlift. We take away our quads from the motion by holding our knees mounted on the similar angle the entire time and making our hips do the bending.
Due to this fact, these are an excellent addition to a deadlift program to develop and strengthen your hamstrings, whether or not for look or deadlift efficiency targets.
The stiff-leg deadlift and RDL will also be used to strengthen the erectors and decrease again. I discover I can goal extra of my hamstrings or extra of my decrease again based mostly on the flexion of my knee (extra bent versus much less bent), nevertheless it takes some apply and familiarity to do that.
You probably have a tough time feeling your hamstrings within the stiff-leg deadlift or Romanian deadlift, it’s possible you’ll need to strive some extra simple choices first, like a leg curl machine.
5. Eccentric Seated/Mendacity Leg Curl
In all probability the simplest technique to hit your hamstrings with eccentrics is utilizing a machine designed to isolate your hamstrings, just like the seated or mendacity leg curl machine. Merely decelerate your descent of the load, and also you’ve acquired your self an eccentric variation.
- Sit or lie on the machine because the directions present. Repair your ft on the pad so you may curl the burden up (from a mendacity place) or curl it down (from a seated place).
- Curl the burden till your knee is totally flexed.
- As you lengthen your knee again to the straight place, observe the prescribed eccentric tempo (e.g., 5 seconds from flexed to prolonged).
It’s laborious to mess up the hamstring focusing on on these machines, which makes them nice for all capacity ranges. Anybody can sit or lie on one among these machines, observe the directions, and hit their hamstrings.
By making use of the eccentric, you may put a lot of rigidity in your hamstrings with out having to make the load too heavy, which for me, is nice information for my joints. I discover a lot much less ache in my knees by doing lighter eccentrics to failure than actually heavy reps at a standard tempo.
I can’t consider many drawbacks right here, apart from the necessity for a particular machine or two. Most gyms (even small resort gyms) have a leg curl machine of some sort, however that gained’t at all times be the case. You could end up choosing leg curl options in the event you’re in a fitness center with out a leg curl machine.
6. Eccentric Standing Leg Curl
One other nice machine is the standing leg curl machine. I actually like this one as a result of it may possibly solely be achieved one leg at a time. It’s potential to do a seated or mendacity leg curl machine unilaterally, however folks don’t at all times do this, so the standing leg curl is there to pressure you to do it each from time to time!
- Step as much as the machine and place the curl pad/arm behind your ankle.
- Set your required weight and curl your leg upward till your knee is totally flexed.
- Decrease the pad as you straighten your knee, following the really useful tempo for the eccentric (like 6 seconds, for instance).
- Repeat with the opposite leg.
I like the unilateral requirement right here as a result of you could find and deal with your imbalances. It additionally permits for some enjoyable variations the place one leg rests whereas the opposite works, supplying you with little to no relaxation time between legs.
By including the eccentric, we get all of the said advantages we’ve mentioned whereas completely isolating our hamstrings, one leg at a time. No have to study a brand new motion, no have to suppose too laborious about which muscle you’re really hitting with the correct approach. Simply plug and play hamstring work.
This machine is even much less widespread in most public gyms I’ve seen, however I’ve additionally been in gyms the place it’s the one hamstring-focused machine, so it’s a roll of the cube on availability.
In the event you don’t have one, you may strive utilizing ankle weights or another technique to connect the load to your ft (like placing your foot via a kettlebell deal with) and carry out them that means.
7. Eccentric Cable Leg Curl
Even with out devoted machines, you may nonetheless use a superb outdated cable machine to get a leg curl in! Since cable machines are very, quite common in most gyms, you’ll be capable of do that variation in a pinch.
- Lie in your stomach on the ground, dealing with away from the cable.
- Connect an ankle/foot attachment between your foot and the cable.
- Flex your knee and curl your foot towards your butt as you pull on the cable.
- Decrease your foot again down on the prescribed tempo (3-6 seconds, often).
- Repeat with the opposite leg.
With an absence of specialised gear, the cable leg curl is available in clutch for folk wanting to coach their hamstrings extra!
Heavy hundreds would possibly make it laborious to carry your place on the bottom (the burden may actually drag/scoot you again towards the pulley), so utilizing lighter weight and making use of eccentric tempo is an ideal answer to get an excellent hamstring pump with out making issues awkward within the fitness center.
These take up house, and also you would possibly hesitate to lie face down on the ground of a public fitness center simply to do a hamstring train. If the opposite pulleys are occupied, it’s possible you’ll not have a lot house to do these.
Second, it’s possible you’ll have to deliver your personal cable ankle attachment, because it’s not a standard one which gyms present on their very own.
Lastly, as I discussed, it could be tough to carry your place on the ground with out the cable and weights pulling you towards the pulley in the event you want heavier weight to get extra depth. It’s unlikely you’ll have one thing to understand together with your fingers, so there’s a restrict to how a lot load you may apply with these.
8. Eccentric Banded Leg Curl
When all else fails, I’ve nearly at all times been capable of get banded leg curls achieved in a pinch. Whether or not my fitness center doesn’t have hamstring-specific machines, or they’re all occupied, and I don’t have time to attend, I can pull a band out of my bag, loop it round a squat rack or one other anchored base, and knock out reps with eccentric temps for an excellent pump.
- Loop a band via itself round an anchored submit, like a squat rack or one other machine.
- Lie in your stomach on the ground, away from the band, with the band looped round your foot or ankle.
- Curl your leg towards your butt as you pull towards the band.
- Decrease your leg again down, following the programmed eccentric tempo.
- Repeat with the opposite leg.
You are able to do these nearly anyplace! Significantly, I’ve achieved these on enterprise journeys in a resort fitness center that solely had treadmills and some small dumbbells. I’ve achieved these at dwelling, and I’ve achieved them at a busy fitness center when all the pieces else was occupied on the time.
Including the eccentric tempo makes the burn much more efficient and satisfying and means I don’t want to hold something greater than a lightweight or medium rigidity band with me.
The band’s rigidity is inconsistent, so it will likely be tighter on the high when your knee is bent and looser at full extension. You’ll want to regulate your place to make sure adequate rigidity as you get nearer to full extension to make sure you’re getting resistance all through the raise.
With cables and machine options, the stress stays fixed all through the vary of movement, making these trickier to get proper. You might also fatigue sooner coping with the dynamic rigidity over regular rigidity.
It will also be annoying to maintain the band in your ankle or foot as you carry out the curls.
How To Program Hamstring Eccentrics
I like to recommend making use of eccentrics to hamstring workout routines in two principal methods:
- Accent workout routines
- Compelled reps
Accent workout routines are workout routines that assist the day’s principal train.
In most powerlifting or power packages, the exercise revolves round a principal compound raise, like a deadlift. As soon as we’ve achieved our deadlift units, we need to maintain working muscle groups concerned within the deadlift by doing isolation workout routines. That is what we name accent workout routines.
On a deadlift exercise, I’d give myself 1-2 workout routines for 3-4 units, every centered on the hamstrings. I might do the primary one with a standard load and tempo and save the eccentrics for the final train.
When all my vitality is sort of spent, I’m on the finish of my exercise, and I can’t raise the identical weight I may after I began the exercise, it’s the proper time to do an train with lighter weight and prolonged eccentric tempos to get extra work in and maintain the depth excessive with out risking damage.
Now’s the time I’d add some eccentric leg curls of any variation! I’d usually focus my accent units on 8-16 rep ranges so I can focus extra on working the muscle to fatigue and never on controlling actually heavy weight for technically tough actions like I do with principal train work.
Compelled reps is a time period utilized in bodybuilding. It’s when a lifter can’t full any extra reps of their very own power, so their spotter applies assist to get a couple of extra reps out.
The concept is which you could maintain your muscle groups engaged past their very own talents and prepare them to develop past their present limitations. Ultimately, the lifter can do all these reps with out help as the help is eliminated.
We will get the identical impact with eccentrics. Since most lifters can proceed to do the eccentric portion of a raise even after they fail to finish the concentric portion, we are able to deal with these unfavorable reps like pressured reps and get a couple of extra reps out of our set.
You probably have spotters out there that can assist you get the burden again up and reset every rep, you may proceed to get a couple of extra eccentric reps on the finish of your set, regardless of the place the train is in your exercise, early or on the finish.
Personally, I usually solely want one good, lengthy eccentric as a remaining rep of my units to get the final little bit of capacity I’ve earlier than needing to relaxation.
Write these into your program like this:
- Deadlifts – 4×5, 5-second eccentric on final rep
- Seated leg curls – 3×8, 5-second unfavorable on every rep
Pattern Eccentric Hamstring Exercise
There are numerous, some ways you may program eccentrics, however right here’s an instance of how you should utilize them all through a exercise:
- Deadlifts – 4 units of 5 reps, 75% of 1RM
- Eccentric deadlifts – 3 units of 5 reps, 5-second unfavorable, 50-60% of 1RM
- Assisted Nordic curls – 3 units of AMRAP – 3-second negatives, assisted concentric
- Banded leg curls – 3 units of 8, 5-second unfavorable tempo
And right here’s an instance the place we reserve it for the top:
- Deadlifts – 4 units of 5 reps, 75% of 1RM
- Paused deadlifts – 3 units of 5 reps, 65% of 1RM
- Assisted Nordic curls – 3 units of AMRAP
- Banded leg curls – 3 units of 8, 5-second unfavorable tempo
Continuously Requested Questions
What Is an Eccentric Hamstring Train?
Eccentric hamstring workout routines goal the hamstrings and apply an prolonged period or tempo in the course of the downward or eccentric portion of the motion. For instance, a deadlift that calls for five seconds of time to decrease the bar to the ground after standing it up could be an eccentric deadlift that targets the hamstrings.
Are Hamstring Curls Eccentric or Concentric?
Hamstring curls embody each an eccentric and a concentric portion, as all lifts do. The concentric portion of the raise is the upward portion, or curling your foot as much as your buttocks, whereas the eccentric portion of the raise is the downward motion, or extending your knee and reducing your foot again down.
Why Is Eccentric Coaching Useful?
Eccentric emphasis coaching is understood to be efficient in constructing and strengthening muscle groups. Analysis has discovered that coaching the eccentric portion of a raise has a direct carry-over impact on strengthening the concentric portion of the raise as properly, making it an efficient technique in power and muscle growth.
Can You Emphasize the Concentric Portion of a Carry?
You’ll be able to emphasize the concentric portion of a raise, however it’s much less widespread to take action. Tempos and pauses will be added in any respect levels of a raise, from the timing of the pause on the high of the raise to the timing of the concentric, the pause at full flexion, the tempo of the eccentric, and the pause at full extension.
About The Writer
Adam Gardner is a proud resident of Utah, the place he lives together with his spouse and two youngsters. He has been competing in powerlifting since 2016 in each the USPA and the APF. For the previous three years, he and his spouse, Merrili, have coached starting lifters to study the basics of powerlifting and compete of their first powerlifting competitions.