Eccentric is a term used to describe a type of muscle contraction where the muscle actually lengthens as it is contracting. When you perform a bicep curl, as your wrist comes up to your shoulder, your bicep is performing a concentric contraction. As you slowly control your wrist to return to the starting position, your bicep performs an eccentric contraction. 

When you run, your quadricep performs an eccentric contraction every time you land as it keeps you from collapsing to the ground. This eccentric contraction is increased when you send your body flying down a hill which explains why your quads may be sore after a hilly run or race. If you don’t believe me, ask any Boston marathoner how it feels to go down the stairs on Tuesday morning.

Here are a few exercises that can help maintain or improve your eccentric quadricep strength if you find yourself tethered to the belted beast.



Yup, just as the alphabet starts with A, quadricep strengthening for runners starts with a squat. You need to have a good solid foundation before you do any fancy tricks.


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