An eccentric muscle contraction is when a muscle produces force whilst it is actively lengthening.
Eccentric muscle contraction is often used to control the speed of a movement by slowing down or decelerating a limb. A good example is when your quadriceps muscles (front of thigh) eccentrically contract to control the speed of your leg when you walk downstairs. Excessive eccentric muscle contractions are often associated with delayed onset muscle soreness and injury as more injuries occur during deceleration than acceleration. If used appropriately eccentric exercises are excellent for rehabilitation especially following tendon injuries.
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