In 1882 Adolf Fick realized that by contracting the muscle tissue under stretch, a greater force was produced than one produced by a shortening muscle contraction. Archibald Hill 50 years later theorized that the human body was found to require less energy in an eccentric or negative muscular contraction that realized during a concentric muscular activity.
Today eccentric or negative training is often characterized as an active form of exercise with the aim of contracting a selected muscle group while simultaneously lengthening the targeted muscle tissue. This form of training can be seen in the traditional biceps curl motion which observes the exerciser lowering the dumbbell down from the rack. This motion is known as the negative or eccentric phase of the exercise, provided the motion of the dumbbell recognizes it to be slowly lowered as opposed to letting it free-fall.
During any exercise the tendons and muscle tissues are generally exposed to three distinctive phases of motion, the first is referred to as the isometric phase where the muscles are at rest and motionless, the second is the concentric phase where the muscle tissues begin to contract and finally the third stage is known as the eccentric or negative stage where the muscles begin to extract. These three motion stages have a notable and positive effect on the muscle tissues and connecting tendons used to performing the exercise by stimulating growth and enhancing strength.
In the Negative or eccentric training, emphasis is adequately placed on slowing down the muscles lengthening process to effectively strain the muscle tissue, whereby allowing the exerciser to develop stronger muscles through an enhanced rate of recovery and repair as well as by increasing the metabolic rate of the individual.
Negative training has been found to provide a type of braking technique for targeted muscle groups and their tendons when exposed to training while in the concentric phase. This breaking technique is necessary in order to effectively protect the joints from possible injury upon release of the contraction.
Professional athletes, rehabilitating patients and even senior citizens have found this type of negative training extremely helpful in boosting their performance and overall strength by rebuilding their muscle tissue and tendons.
The motion observed as the negative movement of the training is an essential factor in the reversal of the muscle tissue from its primary course direction. If the force developed by the trained muscle is less than the weight used for the training exercise, such as in an eccentric muscular activity, then the workout is then observed as providing the individual with a negative training effect as the muscle tissue begins to assimilate energy while in this weighted position.
Many professional bodybuilders and athletes have realized that while negative training they have been found to produce more power than the concentric actions associated with traditional training; far less energy is consumed during their workout.
While negative training the muscle tissues are able to produce much more work which is critically important when considering high performance sport activities for minimizing possibility of injury and achieving the best form of performance training. Sports enthusiasts and professional athletes have found that negative training provides a kind of explosive training which allows the individual to produce sudden boost in their performance during competition events.