Time Course Of Neuromechanical And Morphological Adaptations To Triceps Surae Isokinetic Eccentric Training Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVES:To document the magnitude and the time course of neuromechanical and morphological adaptations in response to a triceps surae eccentric training program. METHODS:Twenty healthy male subjects completed a control period followed by a 12-week isokinetic eccentric training program. Triceps surae neuromechanical and morphological evaluations were performed every 4 weeks. RESULTS:The training program led to increases in: eccentric (32%), isometric (13%) and concentric (20%) torques; eccentric (32%) and isometric (24%) electromyographic activity; and, muscle thickness (14%). Torque and muscle thickness increased until the 8th training week. Eccentric and isometric activation increased until the 4th training week. No change was found in concentric activation. The angles of peak torque in eccentric and concentric tests shifted towards longer muscle lengths. While eccentric and isometric strength gains are explained by increased neural activation and muscle mass, changes in concentric torque are not related to neural effects. CONCLUSIONS:Eccentric training led to increases in maximum eccentric and isometric force production due to adaptations in muscle activation and muscle mass. Among the advantages of the shift in the optimal length for force production towards longer lengths, are the increased total joint range of motion and a lower predisposition for muscle strain injuries.


publication date

  • 2018