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Front Physiol. 2017 Apr 10;8:209. doi: 10.3389/fphys.2017.00209. eCollection 2017.

Superior Effects of Eccentric to Concentric Knee Extensor Resistance Training on Physical Fitness, Insulin Sensitivity and Lipid Profiles of Elderly Men.

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Department of Physical Education, National Taiwan Normal UniversityTaipei, Taiwan.
Department of Physical Education, Health and Recreation, National Chiayi UniversityChiayi, Taiwan.
Department of Exercise and Health Science, University of TaipeiTaipei, Taiwan.
Centre for Exercise and Sports Sciences, School of Medical and Health Sciences, Edith Cowan UniversityJoondalup, WA, Australia.


It has been reported that eccentric training of knee extensors is effective for improving blood insulin sensitivity and lipid profiles to a greater extent than concentric training in young women. However, it is not known whether this is also the case for elderly individuals. Thus, the present study tested the hypothesis that eccentric training of the knee extensors would improve physical function and health parameters (e.g., blood lipid profiles) of older adults better than concentric training. Healthy elderly men (60-76 years) were assigned to either eccentric training or concentric training group (n = 13/group), and performed 30-60 eccentric or concentric contractions of knee extensors once a week. The intensity was progressively increased over 12 weeks from 10 to 100% of maximal concentric strength for eccentric training and from 50 to 100% for concentric training. Outcome measures were taken before and 4 days after the training period. The results showed that no sings of muscle damage were observed after any sessions. Functional physical fitness (e.g., 30-s chair stand) and maximal concentric contraction strength of the knee extensors increased greater (P ≤ 0.05) after eccentric training than concentric training. Homeostasis model assessment, oral glucose tolerance test and whole blood glycosylated hemoglobin showed improvement of insulin sensitivity only after eccentric training (P ≤ 0.05). Greater (P ≤ 0.05) decreases in fasting triacylglycerols, total, and low-density lipoprotein cholesterols were evident after eccentric training than concentric training, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterols increased only after eccentric training. These results support the hypothesis and suggest that it is better to focus on eccentric contractions in exercise medicine.


blood lipid profile; insulin resistance; lengthening muscle contraction; muscle damage; senior functional fitness tests

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