The strange benefits of “eccentric exercise”, one of the fastest ways to improve your strength

  • Dr Michael Mosley
  • BBC, Series “Just One Thing”

image source, Getty Images

I did something today that I normally don’t do. When I go jogging, I usually run up a hill, but today I walked up it. However, I ran downstairs. And that’s because, as illogical as it sounds, running downhill is probably better for me than running uphill.

What I did is known as eccentric exercise and, despite the name, there is nothing strange about it.

What’s fascinating is that even though it feels easier to go down than up, eccentric exercise is actually important for all sorts of health benefits, including muscle repair and growth, flexibility, and bone density.

Although it may surprise you (it certainly surprised me), the easy part, the one where you’re going down, is actually one of the fastest ways to get stronger.