Techniques To Balance Our Muscles

As I stated in my last post Essentrics® primarily focuses on eccentric training of the muscles. Essentrics®, however, is built upon a collection of techniques designed to keep the body balanced throughout the routine.  For instance, if we point the toes down toward the floor in plantar flexion it is important to point the toes up into dorsiflexion.  This prevents one side of the body from working in an unbalanced manner. For this reason it is important to not only train eccentrically but concentrically: to balance the body.

In my previous post, I touched on two techniques that help to balance the body between concentric and eccentric movements.  One is a positional technique: a technique used to position the body to ensure correct load path and the other is a neuromuscular technique: a technique used to trigger a response in the nerves and muscles.

One positional technique in particular that utilizes concentric and eccentric movements is called short lever/long lever.  A short lever is essentially a muscle that is shortened and a long lever is a muscle that is elongated.  In other words, a short lever is an arm that is bent at the elbow or a leg that is bent at the knee.  A long lever is when the limb is in extension.  Often in Essentrics®, one sequence of movement can combine various short and long levers.

When we discuss the neuromuscular technique, agonist/antagonist, it is explaining what happens to the muscles when shortened or elongated as well, however, unlike short/long levers, agonist/antagonist are reliant upon each other to occur.  In essence, when someone bends their elbow and concentrically contracts (shortens) the bicep (agonist), the tricep elongates or relaxes (antagonist). Amazing, right?


 In “Pull the Donkey” technique arms begin in long lever and end in short lever.  Notice the right leg in long lever and left leg into long lever.

It is important to have concentric training balance out our eccentric training.  Balance in training is of utmost importance in not only keeping our bodies in alignment but pain-free as well!

Resource:  Essentrics® program and Miranda Esmonde-White

















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