Rapid Eccentric Isometrics
Rapid Eccentric Isometrics (REIs) are an advanced proprietary training technique developed by Dr. Joel Seedman, which he uses to increase proprioceptive feedback from muscle spindles with the goal of improving performance and muscle function. REI’s also improve force development and stabilization as the muscles are forced to turn on rapidly to absorb high impact forces. REI's should only be used once proper form has been established with standard eccentric isometrics (EI’s).
The rapid eccentric isometric bench press is a great movement for improving pressing power on your horizontal chest pressing movements. Adding in the band tension further emphasizes the declaration component due to the bands producing a sling shot effect that launches the bar towards the lifter. The amount of deceleration and force absorption is quite high making it a very effective neural charging movement that also activates the highest threshold fast twitch motor units.
Performing rapid eccentric isometrics on squatting movements including barbell squats, front squats, goblet squats, overhead squats and others, is a highly effective speed and power movement for the lower body. In essence the effect is very similar to advanced plyometric drills that involve a rapid eccentric phase. Adding in the band tension further emphasizes the declaration component due to the bands producing a sling shot effect that launches the lifter into the bottom of the squat. The amount of deceleration and force absorption is quite high making it a very effective neural charging movement that also activates the highest threshold fast twitch motor units of the lower body.
If you're looking for a back or rowing movement that emphasizes force absorption and deceleration then the rapid eccentric isometric bent over row is perfect. Essentially you're launching the weight down after you row it up. This produces a quick and abrupt pull on the back muscles that forces the body to activate the highest threshold motor units in order to properly absorb the force. The key is proper spinal alignment and technique.
Here are a few of Dr. Seedman's NFL and collegiate football players demonstrating a highly effective speed and power movement for the upper body in the form of rapid eccentric isometric dumbbell presses. The key is to pull the weight down quickly by using the back muscles then immediately deceleration the load. This wakes up high level fast twitch muscle fibers as a means of decelerating the load and absorbing shock.
The rapid eccentric isometric pull-up/chin-up variation is a highly advanced yet very effective back exercise that teaches the muscles of the lats, arms, and core, to activate rapidly as a means of absorbing force and quickly decelerating the body. The key is to avoid collapsing at the bottom position by allowing the shoulder to excessively elevate or protract.
Before performing this variation it's imperative that the lifter has mastered basic pullover technique with standard pullover variations. Once you've mastered those, adding in the rapid eccentric isometric variation of the pullover is one of the best exercises you can do to activate the fast twitch survival fibers of the core, lats, and shoulder stabilizers. If you can learn to properly do these your level of core and shoulder stability will be phenomenal.
The rapid eccentric isometric overhead press is an advanced exercise for improving your overhead pressing mechanics. Focus on pulling the weight down as quickly as possible while under control and rapidly decelerate the load. This wakes up the highest threshold motor units as means of absorbing force and also forces the body to assume proper positioning (as long as the person is fairly efficient with the mechanics already). In essence (once the person has been properly trained) the body will instinctively and reflexively adjust it's mechanics and produce proper positioning as a means of efficiently handling the high levels of force it has to deal with.
Once you've mastered your hip hinging mechanics the rapid eccentric isometric RDL is an excellent way to reinforce the proper movement pattern into your central nervous system. The effects are similar to a kettlebell swing as there is a high level of deceleration and force absorption involved particularly as you hinge over into the RDL position. Focus on rapidly lengthening and contracting the glutes and hamstrings while maintaining a neutral spine throughout.
The rapid eccentric isometric lunge is highly effective for improving and correcting sprinting and stride mechanics as it teaches the body proper stride positioning as well as optimal recruitment patterns associated with running form. Focus on using the arms to rapidly drive the body into position, decelerate before touching the ground, pause, then drive the arms again to explosively propel the body upwards out of the lunge.