Stretch Shortening Cycle

Our muscles have the ability to store energy. The stretch shortening cycle occurs when a muscle participates in an active stretch, an eccentric contraction, and is immediately followed by a shortening of that muscle, a concentric action, of that same muscle.  We can compare this to a rubber band stretching to lengthen and shorten. When you bring the rubber band to its most stretched point it is able to store energy for it to get back to normal size again. Our muscles are able to perform this same action more efficiently. When we actively stretch our muscles to make them longer we are able to store energy for them to quickly get back to the contracted state. The lengthening process is the eccentric action or stretching and the shortening is the concentric action or the flexing process. When the muscle is stretched the tendon lengthens and the tendon is able to store energy like the rubber band and enables the muscle to spring back when it is contracted.

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