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Eccentric Contraction

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Updated May 24, 2014

Definition: An eccentric contraction occurs when a muscle is contracting, and an external force is trying to lengthen the muscle. The classic mechanism for a muscle strain is an eccentric contraction.

An eccentric contraction is also a type of strengthening exercise for a muscle, when performed in a controlled manner. Physical therapists and strength trainers often use eccentric exercises when strengthening muscles. Eccentric strengthening is often used to treat chonic tendon and muscle injuries.

Eccentric contractions are the common cause of injuries such as a groin pull or hamstring strain.

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