Corticomotor plasticity following unilateral strength training

Alicia M. Goodwill, Alan J. Pearce, Dawson J. Kidgell

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Introduction: We used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to investigate 3 weeks of unilateral leg strength training on ipsilateral motor cortex (iM1) excitability, and short-latency intracortical inhibition (SICI). Methods: Right leg dominant participants (n = 14) were randomly divided into either a strength training (ST) or control group. The ST group completed 9 training sessions (4 sets of 6 to 8 repetitions of single right leg squats). Results: We observed a 41% increase in right leg strength, and a 35% increase in strength of the untrained left leg (P < 0.01). There was a significant increase in motor evoked potential (MEP) amplitude recruitment curve for the untrained left leg (P < 0.01). SICI of the iM1 decreased by 21% for the untrained left leg (P < 0.01). Conclusions: The findings provide evidence for corticomotor adaptation for unilateral leg strength training within the iM1 that is modulated by changes in interhemispheric inhibition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-393
Number of pages10
JournalMuscle & Nerve
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Cross education
  • Intracortical inhibition
  • Primary motor cortex
  • Strength training
  • Transcranial magnetic stimulation

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