What is a concentric movement, or concentric
action in strength training or exercise? A concentric movement is the part of any movement
where the agonist muscle, or prime mover or movers shorten or contract. Any action where
muscular tension results in the shortening of the muscle and thus causes rotation around
the involved joint, is a concentric action. In strength training or resistance exercise,
the concentric is the “lifting” part of the exercise. For example, during the bench press,
the part where you press the barbell from your chest is the concentric part of the exercise.
Another word for the concentric action, such as in the aforementioned bench press, is the
positive. Thus, when you lower the bar back down to your chest, it’s called the negative,
or eccentric. Concentric actions are sometimes erroneously
called “concentric contractions.” However, there is actually only one way for a muscle
to contract and the terms such as concentric, eccentric, and isometric describe the resultant
action rather than any physiological difference in the manner in which the muscle contracts.