European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 118, Issue 9, pp 1997–2005 | Cite as

Contralateral repeated bout effect after eccentric exercise on muscular activation

  • Yosuke Tsuchiya
  • Koichi Nakazato
  • Eisuke OchiEmail author
Original Article



The purpose of this study was to investigate the contralateral and ipsilateral repeated bout effects of eccentric contractions (ECCs) on muscle fiber activation using transverse relaxation time (T2) of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).


Eleven men (22.3 ± 2.9 years) performed two bouts of 30 maximal ECCs of the elbow flexors spaced 2 weeks apart. Initially, all subjects performed 30 ECCs for one arm (ECC1). After 2 weeks, they performed 30 ECCs for both ipsilateral arm (IL-RBE) and contralateral arm (CL-RBE). Measurements were maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVC) torque, range of motion (ROM), muscle soreness, cross-sectional area (CSA), and T2 at before, immediately after, 1, 2, 3, and 5 days after ECCs.


The loss of MVC torque, limited ROM, and developed muscle soreness and CSA were inhibited for IL-RBE and CL-RBE compared with ECC1 (p < 0.05). The acute T2, which is an indicator of the activation of muscle fibers, was longer for IL-RBE and CL-RBE than ECC1 (p < 0.05). Otherwise, no significant difference between IL-RBE and CL-RBE was observed in other measurements.


Our results suggest that one of the mechanisms for CL-RBE of ECCs is the increase in muscle fiber activation. In addition, the magnitude of protective effect for CL-RBE was similar to the IL-RBE in untrained young men.


Contralateral adaptation Cross-education Muscle activation Lengthening contractions Muscle damage 



Analysis of variance


Contralateral repeated bout effects


Cross-sectional area


Delayed-onset muscle soreness


Eccentric contractions


Ipsilateral repeated bout effects


Magnetic resonance imaging


Maximal voluntary isometric contraction


Repeated bout effects


Range of motion


Transverse relaxation time


Visual analog scale


Author contributions

YT, KN and EO conceived the study. YT and EO participated in the design and coordination of the study. YT carried out the data collection and performed the statistical analysis. KN and EO helped to draft the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

421_2018_3933_MOESM1_ESM.docx (1.5 mb)
Supplemental Digital Content 1. Figure that illustrates the changes (mean ± SD) in muscle damage after eccentric contractions at initial session (ECC1) in both arms (DOCX 1545 KB)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Modern lifeTeikyo Heisei UniversityTokyoJapan
  2. 2.Department of Exercise PhysiologyNippon Sport Science UniversityTokyoJapan
  3. 3.Faculty of Bioscience and Applied ChemistryHosei UniversityTokyoJapan

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