Chronic Adaptations to Eccentric Training: A Systematic Review
- 2.7k Downloads
Resistance training is an integral component of physical preparation for athletes. A growing body of evidence indicates that eccentric strength training methods induce novel stimuli for neuromuscular adaptations.
The purpose of this systematic review was to determine the effects of eccentric training in comparison to concentric-only or traditional (i.e. constrained by concentric strength) resistance training.
Searches were performed using the electronic databases MEDLINE via EBSCO, PubMed and SPORTDiscus via EBSCO. Full journal articles investigating the long-term (≥4 weeks) effects of eccentric training in healthy (absence of injury or illness during the 4 weeks preceding the training intervention), adult (17–35 years), human participants were selected for the systematic review. A total of 40 studies conformed to these criteria.
Eccentric training elicits greater improvements in muscle strength, although in a largely mode-specific manner. Superior enhancements in power and stretch-shortening cycle (SSC) function have also been reported. Eccentric training is at least as effective as other modalities in increasing muscle cross-sectional area (CSA), while the pattern of hypertrophy appears nuanced and increased CSA may occur longitudinally within muscle (i.e. the addition of sarcomeres in series). There appears to be a preferential increase in the size of type II muscle fibres and the potential to exert a unique effect upon fibre type transitions. Qualitative and quantitative changes in tendon tissue that may be related to the magnitude of strain imposed have also been reported with eccentric training.
Eccentric training is a potent stimulus for enhancements in muscle mechanical function, and muscle-tendon unit (MTU) morphological and architectural adaptations. The inclusion of eccentric loads not constrained by concentric strength appears to be superior to traditional resistance training in improving variables associated with strength, power and speed performance.
KeywordsMotor Unit Resistance Training Eccentric Exercise Eccentric Contraction Concentric Training
Compliance with Ethical Standards
No sources of funding were used to assist in the preparation of this article.
Conflict of interest
Jamie Douglas, Simon Pearson, Angus Ross and Mike McGuigan declare that they have no conflicts of interest relevant to the content of this review.
- 10.Ben-Sira D, Ayalon A, Tavi M. The effect of different types of strength training on concentric strength in women. J Strength Cond Res. 1995;9(3):143–8.Google Scholar
- 18.Farup J, Rahbek SK, Riis S, et al. Influence of exercise contraction mode and protein supplementation on human skeletal muscle satellite cell content and muscle fiber growth. J Appl Physiol. 1985;2014(117):898–909.Google Scholar
- 20.Godard MP, Wygand JW, Carpinelli RN, et al. Effects of accentuated eccentric resistance training on concentric knee extensor strength. J Strength Cond Res. 1998;12(1):26–9.Google Scholar
- 22.Hortobágyi T, Hill JP, Houmard JA, et al. Adaptive responses to muscle lengthening and shortening in humans. J Appl Physiol (1985). 1996;80(3):765–72.Google Scholar
- 24.Kaminski TW, Wabbersen CV, Murphy RM. Concentric versus enhanced eccentric hamstring strength training: clinical implications. J Athletic Train. 1998;33(3):216–21.Google Scholar
- 36.LaStayo PC, Pierotti DJ, Pifer J, et al. Eccentric ergometry: increases in locomotor muscle size and strength at low training intensities. Am J Physiol. 2000;278(5):R1282–8.Google Scholar
- 39.Higbie EJ, Cureton KJ, Warren GL, et al. Effects of concentric and eccentric training on muscle strength, cross-sectional area, and neural activation. J Appl Physiol (1985). 1996;81(5):2173–81.Google Scholar
- 43.Barstow IK, Bishop MD, Kaminski TW. Is enhanced-eccentric resistance training superior to traditional training for increasing elbow flexor strength? J Sport Sci Med. 2003;2:62–9.Google Scholar
- 48.Aagaard P, Simonsen EB, Andersen JL, et al. Neural inhibition during maximal eccentric and concentric quadriceps contraction: effects of resistance training. J Appl Physiol. 1985;2000(89):2249–57.Google Scholar
- 49.Vangsgaard S, Taylor JL, Hansen EA, et al. Changes in H reflex and neuromechanical properties of the trapezius muscle after 5 weeks of eccentric training: a randomized controlled trial. J Appl Physiol. 1985;2014(116):1623–31.Google Scholar
- 56.Aagaard P. Neural adaptations to resistance exercise. In: Cardinale M, Newton R, Nosaka K, editors. Strength and conditioning: biological principles and practical applications. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell; 2011. p. 105–24.Google Scholar
- 58.Duchateau J, Semmler JG, Enoka RM. Training adaptations in the behaviour of human motor units. J Appl Physiol. 1985;2006(101):1766–75.Google Scholar
- 63.Bojsen-Moller J, Magnusson SP, Rasmussen LR, et al. Muscle performance during maximal isometric and dynamic contractions is influenced by the stiffness of the tendinous structures. J Appl Physiol. 1985;2005(99):986–94.Google Scholar
- 65.Oliveira AS, Corvino RB, Caputo F, et al. Effects of fast-velocity eccentric resistance training on early and late rate of force development. Eur J Sport Sci. 2016;16(2):199–205.Google Scholar
- 74.Goldspink G, Harridge S. Cellular and molecular aspects of adaptation in skeletal muscle. In: Komi PV, editor. Strength and power in sport. Volume III encyclopaedia of sports medicine. Encyclopaedia of Sports Medicine. Osney Mead: Blackwell Science Ltd; 2003. p. 231–51.Google Scholar
- 84.Seynnes OR, de Boer M, Narici MV. Early skeletal muscle hypertrophy and architectural changes in response to high-intensity resistance training. J Appl Physiol. 1985;2007(102):368–73.Google Scholar
- 87.Hyldahl RD, Olson T, Welling T, et al. Satellite cell activity is differentially affected by contraction mode in human muscle following a work-matched bout of exercise. Front Physiol. 2014;5(485):1–11.Google Scholar
- 91.Prilutsky BI. Eccentric muscle action in sport and exercise. In: Zatsiorsky VM, editor. Biomechanics in sport. Volume IX encyclopaedia of sports medicine. Encyclopaedia of Sports Medicine. Osney Mead: Blackwell Science Ltd; 2000. p. 56–86.Google Scholar
- 94.Shepstone TN, Tang JE, Dallaire S, et al. Short-term high- vs. low-velocity isokinetic lengthening training results in greater hypertrophy of the elbow flexors in young men. J Appl Physiol. 1985;2005(98):1768–76.Google Scholar
- 95.Baroni BM, Stocchero CMA, do Espírito Santo RC, et al. The effect of contraction type on muscle strength, work and fatigue in maximal isokinetic exercise. Isokinet Exerc Sci. 2011;19(3):215–20.Google Scholar
- 97.Morton RW, Oikawa SY, Wavell CG, et al. Neither load nor systemic hormones determine resistance training-mediated hypertrophy or strength gains in resistance-trained young men. J Appl Physiol. 1985;2016(121):129–38.Google Scholar
- 103.Staron RS, Johnson P. Myosin polymorphism and differential expression in adult human skeletal muscle. Comp Biochem Physiol. 1993;106B(3):463–75.Google Scholar
- 107.Tannerstedt J, Apró W, Blomstrand E. Maximal lengthening contractions induce different signalling responses in the type I and type II fibers of human skeletal muscle. J Appl Physiol. 1985;2009(106):1412–8.Google Scholar
- 116.Foure A, Nordez A, Cornu C. Plyometric training effects on Achilles tendon stiffness and dissipative properties. J Appl Physiol. 1985;2010(109):849–54.Google Scholar