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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015, Article ID 193741, 7 pages
Review Article

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

1Center for Biomechanic and Motor Control (BMC), Department of Physical Education and Sport Science, University of Bojnord, Bojnord, Iran
2Department of Neurorehabilitation Engineering, Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience, University Medical Center Göttingen, Georg-August University, 37075 Göttingen, Germany
3Pain Clinic, Center for Anesthesiology, Emergency and Intensive Care Medicine, University Hospital Göttingen, 37075 Göttingen, Germany

Received 17 November 2014; Revised 13 January 2015; Accepted 9 February 2015

Academic Editor: Chandramouli Krishnan

Copyright © 2015 Nosratollah Hedayatpour and Deborah Falla. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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.