WOW!: It’s eccentric!

The WOW, or Workout of the Week, is a short workout that you can do on your own as an add-on to your training. These workouts are designed to be mostly equipment free (so you can do them anywhere) and of medium to high intensity. Modify as needed depending on your fitness level and intensity needs.

It’s eccentric – no, not electric! Eccentric movements help you challenge your muscles more for greater growth and strength.

Concentric and Eccentric contractions are two types of muscle contractions. The concentric contraction happens on the lifting or loading phase of the movement. The eccentric contraction is the lowering or deloading phase of the contraction. As you may have guessed from the title, this workout focuses on the eccentric phase of the contraction.

Eccentric loading helps to build muscle strength. The slow contraction puts stress on the muscle, thus making it work harder. As a result, strength and power gains can be made. Plus, you may burn more calories at rest, even up to 72 hours after your exercise! (according to a 2008 Wayne State study)

You’ll do each exercise for five repetitions and each repetition for a three second count on the way down and a one second count on the way up.  Complete five rounds total.

Push-Up (hands at shoulder width)
Split Squat
Close Grip Push-Up (hands in a diamond or about 5 inches apart, elbows tucked into your sides)

Make sure to warm-up before each WOW. Some suggestions are a minute or two of jumping jacks, jogging, or stair walks. Then do two to three minutes of 10 squats, 10 push-ups, 10 half roll backs, and 10 bird dogs. Do the squats and push-ups at an easy-for-you modification.