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Biomed Res Int. 2015;2015:193741. doi: 10.1155/2015/193741. Epub 2015 Oct 12.

Physiological and Neural Adaptations to Eccentric Exercise: Mechanisms and Considerations for Training.

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Center for Biomechanic and Motor Control (BMC), Department of Physical Education and Sport Science, University of Bojnord, Bojnord, Iran.
Department of Neurorehabilitation Engineering, Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience, University Medical Center Göttingen, Georg-August University, 37075 Göttingen, Germany ; Pain Clinic, Center for Anesthesiology, Emergency and Intensive Care Medicine, University Hospital Göttingen, 37075 Göttingen, Germany.


Eccentric exercise is characterized by initial unfavorable effects such as subcellular muscle damage, pain, reduced fiber excitability, and initial muscle weakness. However, stretch combined with overload, as in eccentric contractions, is an effective stimulus for inducing physiological and neural adaptations to training. Eccentric exercise-induced adaptations include muscle hypertrophy, increased cortical activity, and changes in motor unit behavior, all of which contribute to improved muscle function. In this brief review, neuromuscular adaptations to different forms of exercise are reviewed, the positive training effects of eccentric exercise are presented, and the implications for training are considered.

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