Can eccentric exercise lower the risk of injury?

The risk of injury appears to be influenced by working muscle length, joint range of motion and eccentric strength (muscle lengthening under load). Recent studies have shown a direct relationship between those that use eccentric-only training and improvements in both flexibility and strength, which in turn reduces the risk of injury.

No-one wants to succumb to injury, so many of us will go along the lines of prevention rather than cure. Staying up to date with the latest research is crucial, otherwise we end up regurgitating old thinking which may have proven to be ineffective. Conventional flexibility and concentric training require a lot of training, and now evidence has shown does not effectively improve fascicle lengthening (the superficial and deep units of muscles).

Eccentric training has shown to have two main benefits:

# Enhanced motor performance

# Enhanced muscular energy absorption in the decelerating limb

The ability to gain both flexibility and muscle strength in one exercise is a positive time saver and an effective tool for injury prevention. Speak to your local health professional about how eccentric training can help prevent injury, and improve strength and flexibility.

Vetter, S. et al. (2022). The effects of eccentric strength training on flexibility and strength in healthy samples and laboratory settings: A systematic review. Frontiers in Physiology. 873370.