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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2014 Jun 1;116(11):1426-34. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.00008.2013. Epub 2013 Jul 3.

Eccentric exercise in rehabilitation: safety, feasibility, and application.

Author information

  • 1Department of Physical Therapy, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah;
  • 2Department of Physical Therapy, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah;
  • 3Department of Pathology, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil; and.
  • 4Department of Biology, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, Arizona.


This nonexhaustive mini-review reports on the application of eccentric exercise in various rehabilitation populations. The two defining properties of eccentric muscle contractions--a potential for high muscle-force production at an energy cost that is uniquely low--are revisited and formatted as exercise countermeasures to muscle atrophy, weakness, and deficits in physical function. Following a dual-phase implementation, eccentric exercise that induces rehabilitation benefits without muscle damage, thereby making it both safe and feasible in rehabilitation, is described. Clinical considerations, algorithms of exercise progression, and suggested modes of eccentric exercise are presented.

Copyright © 2014 the American Physiological Society.


eccentric; function; muscle; patients; rehabilitation

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