Most of the strength training workouts I post incorporate free weights and/or bodyweight exercises. That’s largely because that is how I prefer to train. However, I do switch it up every now and then and use the weightlifting machines, like in my Lazy Lower Body Leg Press Workout.
I figured it’s time to shake things up again and share with you a lower body strength training workout that doesn’t involve squats or lunges but instead utilizes machines. This workout also changes things up by emphasizing the eccentric motion of each of the exercises.
What the heck does that mean?
The eccentric motion of the exercise is the lowering part of the movement where you’re fighting against gravity to slowly lower down the weight you’re lifting. For example, if you’re performing a bicep curl, the eccentric motion is when you’re lowering your arms from your chest/shoulder area back down to your waist area. The concentric motion is the opposite. It’s when you’re initially lifting the weight. For the bicep curl, the concentric motion is when you lift up and curl your arms, bringing them near your chest/shoulder area.
In this workout, we’re going to emphasize the eccentric motion of each exercise by lifting (concentric) for one count and lowering (eccentric) with a slow and controlled movement for four counts. Trust me, you will notice the difference!
Why do this?
For one, it’s a fun way to switch up your workouts and keep plateaus and boredom at bay. Secondly, there’s a growing body of research that suggests that emphasizing the eccentric movement of an exercise leads to greater muscular strength gains than the normal one count up, one count down movements.
Here are links to some of the articles and studies out there on the topic:
- To Get Lean Muscle Faster, Go Slow and Get ‘Eccentric’ via Gaiam Life
- Strength gains following different combined concentric and eccentric exercise regimens.Via National Center for Biotechnology Information
- Favorable neuromuscular and cardiovascular responses to 7 days of exercise with an eccentric overload in elderly women.Via National Center for Biotechnology Information
- The Effects of Eccentric & Concentric Muscle Actions in Resistance Training via Livestrong
I’m warning you, you will feel the burn!
If you aren’t familiar with these exercises or just need a form refresher, check out my Plateau-Busting Eccentric Lower Body Workout YouTube Playlist for video demonstrations of each exercise.
What techniques do you use to switch up your workouts and bust through plateaus?
This workout is shared on: Fitness Friday.