Jessica Bento, Physical Therapist
After my first ever video, I got to thinking of some other topics I could talk about and after going through one of the 19 day workout programs I really wanted to touch base on the importance of not necessarily being able to lift a weight but to control the movement on its way back down. For the 19 day program I wanted to really push myself so I have been using a 50 pound Strength USB for the majority of the exercises. I came across one of the workouts that had a high rep high pull in it and found that it was very challenging at a higher weight not to lift the weight up but to make sure I was able to maintain proper form and control the weight on the way back down.
So it got me thinking, that is the perfect topic to address. I see so many youtube videos and facebook posts of people hitting their personal best and lifting heigh weights and quite often that person is able to lift the weight up but as soon as they get it up there they just drop it to floor or I cringe watching the awful form they have letting the weight come back down.
I think that in today’s fitness day and age where lifting heavy weight, or doing high repetition power movements are becoming more popular, more and more coaches or even just the individual performing the movement is forgetting about the importance of being able to control the weight on the way down or the eccentric component of the lift.
I wanted to give you some DVRT movements and a great challenge workout in order for you to really focus on this component. Such drills will really allow you to focus on the eccentric phase of your training. You may ask, why is this so important? I just lifted the most weight ever! Who cares if I just slammed the weight back down or let the weight control me as it hit the mat?! Well, most injuries occur in the eccentric phase of resistance training. Take this excerpt form a journal article stating the benefits from eccentric training:
“Athletes with a history of recurring hamstring and adductor muscle injuries have greater impairment of their eccentric strength (2-fold) as compared to concentric strength, suggesting that improvements in the former may minimize the risk of injury. Others have suggested that eccentric resistance exercise may prevent injury to the muscle tendon unit by improving the muscle’s ability to absorb more energy before failing.”
It isn’t all about not getting hurt, although that is pretty important, but also getting stronger faster as well.
“Muscle strength and power improvements seem to be a function of the muscle’s ability to produce high forces. Therefore, because much greater force (2 to 3 times greater) can be produced eccentrically than either isometrically or concentrically, eccentric training has the capability of ‘‘overloading’’ the muscle to a greater extent and enhancing muscle mass, strength, and power, when compared to concentric exercise.”
It should be clear now that we can’t just concern ourselves with what just goes up, but how we handle the weight coming down. That is another reason that I love DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training. We can teach these concepts in more stable and safe environments and then progress by changing the direction and angle we lift to create new levels of strength.
Watch today’s video to see how you can use some of our favorite drills to teach this all so important, but typically overlooked aspect of strength and fitness. These DVRT Ultimate Sandbag Training drills teach the concept of lowering or eccentric strength so well because we teach them with both controlling your body and external load. We show you how to do so slowly and quickly. Lastly, we perform such drills at various angles and positions, all of this leading to better results so much faster!