Eccentric focused movements can drastically improve your flexibility. These include specific weighted drills to increase mobility in a particular area. You can also expect results by just doing basic exercises with a slow eccentric phase.
Simple eccentrically focused drills have now been tested against the tried and true stretches. In almost every study eccentric drills have equalled or surpassed the effects made by static stretching. (Static stretches are any stretches involving no movement. Standing still and reaching for your toes is a good example.)
One group, using high school athletes, proved eccentric drills are as effective as other stretches over a long term period. They also showed “hamstring flexibility gains made from one bout of eccentric training were significantly better (100% improvement) than the gains made by a static stretch group. This study provides evidence that when dealing with the immediate effects of stretching, flexibility programs may actually be enhanced by replacing static stretching with eccentric training.”
Adding It All Together
These findings, when tied to our past few discussions on eccentrics, make it clear that stretching and strength training no longer need to be separated. And to be honest “stretching” can be a little more fun and exciting now. We believe in mixing these types of eccentric drills with the rest of our athletes’ training programs. By doing so you are able to build strength and resiliency in every session.