Every muscle undergoes three different movements when it is exercised - isometric (no movement), concentric (contracting) and eccentric (extracting). Eccentric exercises are usually recommended for athletes or the elderly patients looking to condition certain muscles of their body.
These exercises are based on a simple principle, the muscles increase as they gain tension and regular practice of such exercises boosts muscle strength and performance.
Exercises for Tennis Elbow
Tennis elbow, medically known as lateral epicondylitis, affects about 3% of the population in the United States. Originating in the wrist muscles, it is generally perceived as an over use injury.
Tennis elbow is common in people indulging in excess physical activities and sports that includes a continuous wrist movement or a power grip. The physical activities associated with tennis elbow are meat cutting, plumbing, working in automobile repair shops and playing tennis for long hours.
- Get a resistance band and secure one end of the band under your foot and hold the opposite end with your injured hand.
- Extend your injured hand out straight, lock your elbow with your wrist facing the floor. Make use of your free hand to support your injured wrist to pull the wrist back towards you, stretching the band with it.
- Your free hand should do 98% of the work while bringing your injured wrist back. Let go the free hand and slowly let the band pull your injured wrist down towards the floor.
- Do this exercise 3 sets of 15 reps each.
- Recent studies have proved that eccentric exercises can heal tennis elbow very easily.
- Hold one end of the flex bar with the injured hand and hold the other end with the functional hand.
- Twist the flex bar by flexing the wrist of the functional hand. Now bring both the arms in front of the body while maintaining the twist in the flex bar.
- Repeat this exercise for three sets of 15 repetitions each.
Exercises for Knees
Eccentric exercises for knee are often used to treat jumper's knee (also known as patellar tendinitis). Patellar tendinitis begins as a chronic pain in the knee and can later result in tearing of the patellar tendon. This condition is common in sports personalities because of the overuse of their knee muscles.
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart next to a wall or table for balance. Carefully bend your knees as if you're simulating a sitting position.
- Lower your torso until your thighs are parallel to the floor. When you get into the position, hold it for about 10 seconds.
- Put more tension on the non-injured leg and return to your standing position using your hamstring muscles.
- Repeat 3 sets of 10 reps each. Always perform this exercise on a flat surface.
Hamstring Exercise with Bands
- Coil an exercise band to the ankle of the right foot.
- Tie the opposite end to a door or to a heavy object that doesn't move.
- Bend your right knee till the shin is parallel to the floor and the heel of the right leg comes closer to the buttocks.
- Carefully move the foot back to the floor. Repeat 4 sets of 5 reps of this exercise to ensure a smooth recovery.
- Stand with your injured foot on a step, with the other foot on a flat surface. Gradually shift your weight onto the injured foot, as you raise the other foot off the floor.
- Straighten the knee of the injured foot and then slowly lower the other foot back to the floor. Repeat 4 sets of 6 reps each.
- Increase the tension by increasing the height of the step with regular practice session. Step ups is a great eccentric exercise for calf muscles, but people should remember to do these exercises on a moderate pace to gain maximum benefits.
Eccentric exercises don't guarantee permanent relief from muscle problems but they do subside the pain and also improve muscle condition. Medical reports claim that people who practice these exercises regularly have seen outstanding success in their condition and have completely stopped taking medication.