How to Remember Concentric and Eccentric Contractions

How to Remember Concentric and Eccentric Contractions

In this blog and video, I am going to explain How to Remember Concentric and Eccentric Contractions with a really simple mnemonic that you can recall easily on exam day, and when working with clients

You’ll learn:

  • Why FitPros find the muscle contractions so hard to revise
  • A simple method to learn the difference between Eccentric and Concentric contractions
  • Understand about concentric and eccentric phases of movement
  • Watch a 45 minute Revision Webclass Recording
  • How to learn with simplicity for the rest of the modules
  • Three Example Mock Question about joint actions

Why FitPros find Muscle Contractions so hard to revise

Learning Muscle Contractions are notoriously claimed to be one of the hardest modules within the Level 2 Anatomy and Physiology syllabus, so you are not alone if you find this area difficult to understand.

Although we can see and feel our muscles move, it can be hard to imagine the muscle changing length and contracting in different ways.

You can expect between 5 and 8 questions relating to this in your Level 2 Anatomy exam

A simple method to learn the difference between Eccentric and Concentric contractions

Most people think of a muscle contraction as the muscle shortening. However, there are 2 types of contractions for each muscle, one that gets longer and one that gets shorter.

You need to know that a concentric contraction is the muscle shortening,

… and eccentric contraction is the muscle lengthening.

You can remember this using…

Concentric = Collapsing (shorter)

Eccentric = Elongating (longer)

Understand about concentric and eccentric phases of movement

You can also use this rule to understand the COncentric and Eccentric phases of a movement

There is a lifting phase and a lowering phase in every movement/exercise

For example the squat has a lowering phase when you lower to the floor and a lifting phase when you stand back up.

During the lifting phase in the squat the load-bearing muscles resist against gravity and they shorten (concentric contraction) to lift the load ( your body weight) up towards the clouds – this is the concentric phase

Concentric phase:
The load goes towards the Clouds
The muscle fibres of the Prime Mover are Collapsing

During the lowering phase in the squat the load bearing muscles lengthen under control (eccentric contraction) to lower the load ( your body weight) towards the floor – this is the eccentric phase

Eccentric phase:
The load goes towards the Earth
The Muscle Fibres of the Prime Mover are Elongating

Note: The phase is determined by the load versus gravity rather than the position of your body in space. So on a cable exercise, the load (weight stack) is lifted to the clouds on the concentric phase, and the weight stack lowers towards the Earth on the eccentric phase.

Watch a 45-minute Revision Webclass Recording – How to remember Concentric and Eccentric Contractions

This is a recording from our Live Revision Webclass, please navigate forward to 3 mins 45 to start the content.

Test your knowledge with today’s mock questions:

[NOTE: The answers are below the 3rd questions]

1.During the concentric phase of the squat what happens to the quadriceps?
A – Contract and Shorten
B – Contract and Lengthen
C – Relax and Shorten
D – Relax and Lengthen

2. What joint action happens when the Biceps Brachii contracts eccentrically?
A. Elbow Flexion
B. Elbow Extension
C. Shoulder Adduction
D. Elbow Lateral Flexion

3. What is the concentric phase of the Lat Pull Down Resistance Machine?
A. When your arms lift and weight stack lowers
B. When your arms lower and weight stack lifts
C. The isometric squeeze at the bottom
D. When the latissimus dorsi lengthens

What’s the CORRECT answer?

Answers to the mock questions are :

Question 1= A, Question 2 = B, Question 3 = A

If you want more mock questions like this, then you can download more Free Mock Questions: DOWNLOAD NOW

Need More Help with your Level 3 Anatomy Revision?

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This is not another course with more exams – it HELPS pass the course you’re already enrolled on!

“EVERYTHING You Need To Learn, Revise And Pass Your Fitness Exam”

If you want to get your revision structured, learn everything you need to know and feel confident on exam day, then click the link below:

https://revision.parallelcoaching.co.uk/l3ap-revision-mastery-bootcamp-13

Anatomy and Physiology Level 3 - vary the mode

Dedicated to More

Hayley “Concentric and Eccentric Contractions” Bergman

Parallel Coaching

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