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mbg moves: An Eccentric Full-Body Strength Workout

reverse lunge
Image by Andreas von Scheele
July 12, 2021

Welcome to mbg moves! We've been working out at home more than ever lately—and we know our readers are, too. To help keep your fitness routine feeling fresh, we're releasing a new at-home workout every Monday to start your week off strong. Each month will feature routines from a different incredible trainer we adore. Now, let's get moving with our spotlight trainer: BB Arrington.

Have you heard the term eccentric exercise before? Well, here's a little refresher. With any kind of exercise that involves movement, there are two parts: eccentric and concentric. The eccentric contraction is the lengthening portion of the exercise, while the concentric is the shortening. 

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Today, we're going to put this knowledge into practice. I've created a quick full-body workout that focuses on the eccentric portion of a contraction. This is often the part of a movement people neglect, so making it the star of your workout will help build strength, prevent injury, and improve balance. In order to do so, we're going to use tempo to home in on the lengthening part of each exercise. In this case, we'll lengthen or lower for three counts and return to the starting position in one count, to really emphasize it.

To do this workout, you're going to need two sets of weights: one for your upper body, then something a bit heavier for your lower body. Now, grab your lighter set of weights and meet me on the mat to get started!

Your 4-week challenge: For the next four weeks, I'll be sharing a different strength-training workout that focuses on a specific exercise principle—so we'll be strengthening our minds and bodies all at once. I challenge you to make it a goal to incorporate these routines two to three times per week.

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Workout Summary

  • Time: 5 to 15 minutes
  • Equipment: Light and medium set of dumbbells, yoga mat
  • Instructions: For each exercise, spend three seconds moving through the eccentric portion. Move from one exercise to the next without rest. Complete 10 reps for each. Repeat the entire sequence two or three times total for a full workout.

Chest Fly

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  1. Lie on your back, feet grounded into the floor. Hold a dumbbell in each hand. Lift your arms toward the sky, and soften your elbows. 
  2. Take 3 counts to lower your arms down to the side. Use one count to bring your arms back to start. 
  3. That's one rep. Complete 10.
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Glute Bridge

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  1. Grab your heavier weight, and lie on your mat. Bring your weight to your hips, and plant your feet on the floor. Tip your pelvis up, and maintain this the entire time.
  2. Lift up into your glute bridge, squeezing the glutes at the top. Slowly lower down for 3 counts, focusing on the eccentric part of the movement. 
  3. That's one rep. Complete 10.
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Lateral Raise

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  1. Grab your set of lighter weights. Come to a standing position, with your feet underneath your shoulders. Soften your knees. Roll your shoulders down. 
  2. Lift your arms up to form a letter "V" in front of you. Lower down for 3 counts. 
  3. That's one rep. Complete 10. 
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Reverse Lunge

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  1. Grab your heavier weight, and start in a standing position. Step your left leg a bit behind you. Hold your weight in your left hand. 
  2. Hinge at your hips, reach your back leg behind you, and bend your knees to lower down. Hold for 3 seconds, then come back up to start.
  3. That's one rep. Complete 10, then repeat on the right side. Repeat this sequence once more through if you'd like.