Damage to human muscle from eccentric exercise after training with concentric exercise

Nicholas P Whitehead, Trevor Allen, David L Morgan, Uwe Proske

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1. It is known that a period of eccentric exercise provides protection against damage to muscle from subsequent eccentric exercise. Here we ask, does concentric exercise do the opposite, make muscle more prone to damage? 2. The triceps surae muscle group of one leg in each of eight human subjects was subjected to 30 min of concentric exercise per day, for 5 days. At the end of the training period there was a small but significant increase in passive torque in the exercised muscle (P < 0.05), with no changes in the untrained muscle. 3. After a single period of eccentric exercise, angle-torque curves for muscles of both legs shifted in the direction of longer muscle lengths, suggestive of an increase in series compliance. The shift in the concentrically trained muscle was significantly greater over the first 48 h post-exercise (P < 0. 05). 4. The volume of the trained leg increased significantly more than the untrained leg for five subjects over 72 h post-exercise (P < 0.05). Peak torque fell, passive stiffness increased and both muscles became sore, but with no significant differences between the two legs. 5. It is concluded that a period of concentric exercise increases the susceptibility of muscle to changes associated with the damage from eccentric exercise.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)615-620
Number of pages6
JournalThe Journal of Physiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1998

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