Get Stronger with Concentric Training

Concentric training is basically when you start an exercise from the bottom instead of the top. For example, you begin your squat from a dead-stop bottom position instead of starting by lowering the bar from the standing position. This is typically done in a power rack off pins. (Remember, "concentric" just means the lifting portion of the movement. "Eccentric" usually means the lowering portion or negative.)

Concentric Exercises and Variations

The Anderson Squat

Options

  • Vary height.
  • Use a specialty bar.
  • Use accommodating resistance in the form of bands or chains or both.
  • Can be done with the front squat, back squat, Zercher squat, or overhead squat.

Jerk From Pins

Options

  • Start from bottom of your dip.
  • Vary specialty bar i.e. Football Bar or regular bar.
  • Use accommodating resistance in the form of bands.
  • Use the push jerk, power jerk, or split jerk.

Bench Press from Pins

Options

  • Vary height.
  • Vary specialty bar.
  • Use accommodating resistance in the form of band or chains or both.

Seated Overhead Pin Press

Options

  • Vary height.
  • Vary specialty bar.
  • Use accommodating resistance.

The Benefits

  1. Variance: Using concentric movements is simply another tool in your toolbox that can be done a variety of ways.
  2. Supramaximal: Working partial range of motion movements provides the neurological advantage of allowing us to use loads that are above our current 1-rep max. This allows us to build confidence with weights that we aren't accustomed to handling.
  3. Lockout Strength: We can specifically target our sticking points and vary joint angles that may be less favorable based on our individual anthropometrics.
  4. Rate of Force Development: Improving RFD is important and by starting from a disadvantage (bottom/dead-stop) we're forced to utilize higher-threshold motor-units quickly.
  5. Developing Tension: Max effort work requires the ability to create tension. This aspect of training is often forgotten. But with concentric movements we're forced to develop tension prior to initiating our movement because we're essentially starting from a disadvantage. We're also unable to use the stretch reflex.

Concentric movements are another option to ensure we're staying away from accommodating and overtraining. They can really crack plateaus with your strength and power development. If you're using these for max effort work, make sure you take note of exactly your height setting and retest in 12 weeks, comparing apples to apples.

Related:  Negatives: You're Doing Them Wrong

Related:  Lift Fast, Get Big