What Is The Difference Between Concentric And Eccentric Contractions

Core Align is a new upright Pilate’s machine from Balanced Body.    A physical therapist from Israel designed this revolutionary new piece of Pilate’s equipment that has changed the way we train the core in the weight bearing position.  We now have the ability with this new piece of equipment to train groups of muscles in the concentric and eccentric patterns, all the while incorporating the trunk as the stabilizing site of control.

Our core trunk muscles must be powerful and this site of power is where our center of gravity is located.  Our center of gravity is located just anterior to the last vertebra of our spine, which is called the sacrum.  If you have the normal muscle control in this region you will have the core strength necessary to accomplish anything you want to do everyday without the risk of injury.

The types of muscle contractions that happen in our body make a huge difference when we are training.   The concentric contractions occur when the muscle actually shortens when it contracts and eccentric contractions happen when the muscle contracting is actually elongating as it is contracting.  The eccentric muscle contraction is the most difficult type of contraction for the body.  This type of contraction is also when most of the injury occurs because we do not train eccentrically as we should.   A prime example of this is when you go hiking.     The big Quadriceps muscles in the front of your thigh does a shortening contraction as you go up the hill and as you come down the hill your thigh muscles do an elongating contraction.  The same thing happens when you ascend and descend the stairs.   That is why often you feel unsafe as you come down the stairs because your Quadriceps muscle is not strong enough as it is elongating.

The great thing about the new Core Align is that it helps accomplish this very thing.  We can now train for multiple different activities that we do everyday utilizing these techniques for concentric and eccentric activity in an upright functional pattern.  It takes balance, coordination and proper muscle sequencing to accomplish this workout and it is fun.    For a quick look you can go on U-tube.  Type in Core Align for training for snowboarding or skiing, etc. and you will see how important your core is for your functional ability.  Remember, your body likes to be balanced and your core is your key.


Sheree DiBiase, PT, loves to train on the Core Align and her staff would be happy to show you how fun it is to train on it.  Please call us at Lake City Physical Therapy (208) 667-1988 and ask to set-up a time to come visit us and we will show you this fun new way to train.  Personal training sessions on the Core Align are also available with our experienced staff so call for a ½ hour or hour session.