The 3 different types of muscle contractions

The 3 different types of muscle contractions


I wanted to explain a concept today about muscle contractions. There are three different types of muscle contractions: isometric, eccentric and concentric. And basically, an isometric contraction is a contraction where the muscle doesn’t change length. So as I’m holding this weight in my hand, my biceps is contracting isometrically. If i were to bring the weight up towards my shoulder, the biceps muscle is shortening, so it is concentrically contracting. And as I lower the weight, my biceps is contracting eccentrically or lengthening and contracting. This is important because we’re going to talk about these contractions with various conditions such as tendonitis. Or, if you’ve had an injury around a joint, I think it’s really important to keep the muscles awake. Let’s say you’ve sprained your knee. Then I think it’s important that you keep the VMO firing — the muscle in your quadricep — but I don’t want you to necessarily move the joint. So that’s when you may do an isometric contraction. And if you’ve got a problem with tendinitis — and this is a general statement, any tendonitis, it could be of a tendon in your leg or a tendon in your arm — generally a muscle tendon unit that’s affected by tendonitis is too short. So the one thing you have to do is to strengthen the muscle and lengthen the muscle. So you have to do eccentric contractions. So I just wanted to introduce these terms so that you would have a good understanding when we refer to them at any point in the future.

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