Isometric versus eccentric knee exercises, which one is right for you?
Before we answer that question, it might be a good idea to review what each exercise looks like.
Isometric Exercises: Isometric exercises is where the joint does not move and the muscle does not lengthen. The joint stays still and there is no movement, for example:
Eccentric Exercises: Eccentric exercises however do involve movement. This is where the muscle lengthens due to external resistance. For example:
Now that we have defined the two exercises, which one is better? What does the research say?
Based on a systematic review, isometric exercises were found to be bennifical for competitive seasons for short-term pain relief. Eccentric exercises however were found to be better for long-term pain relief and improvement in knee function.
This is no surprise as we find that patient do see better and long-term results when we provide good quality eccentric exercises to perform as part of their knee rehabilitation. We find that eccentric exercises also promote better strengthening of the various knee muscles, leading to lower injuries and better performance overall.
To learn more about this study click here.