Adaptations in corticospinal excitability and inhibition are not spatially confined to the agonist muscle following strength training

Mason, Joel, Frazer, Ashlyn, Horvath, Deanna, Pearce, Alan, Avela, Janne, Howatson, Glyn and Kidgell, Dawson (2017) Adaptations in corticospinal excitability and inhibition are not spatially confined to the agonist muscle following strength training. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 117 (7). pp. 1359-1371. ISSN 1439-6319

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Purpose: We used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to determine the corticospinal responses from an agonist and synergist muscle following strength training of the right elbow flexors.

Methods: Motor evoked potentials were recorded from the Biceps Brachii and Flexor Carpi Radialis during a submaximal contraction from 20 individuals (10 women, 10 men, aged 18-35 years; training group; n = 10 and control group; n = 10) before and after three weeks of strength training at 80% of 1-repetition maximum (1-RM). To characterise the input-output properties of the corticospinal tract, stimulus-response curves for corticospinal excitability and inhibition of the right Biceps Brachii and Flexor Carpi Radialis were constructed and assessed by examining the area under the recruitment curve (AURC).

Results: Strength training resulted in a 29% (P < 0.001) increase in 1-RM Biceps Brachii strength and this was accompanied by a 19% increase in isometric strength of the wrist flexors (P = 0.001). TMS revealed an increase in corticospinal excitability AURC and a decrease in silent period duration AURC for the Biceps Brachii and Flexor Carpi Radialis following strength training (all P < 0.05). However, the changes in corticospinal function were not associated with increased muscle strength.

Conclusion: These findings show that the corticospinal responses to strength training of a proximal upper limb muscle is not spatially restricted, but rather, results in a change in connectivity, among an agonist and a synergistic muscle relevant to force production.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Agonist, corticospinal excitability, corticospinal inhibition, voluntary strength, strength training, synergist
Subjects: B100 Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology
C600 Sports Science
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 27 Apr 2017 07:53
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2017 17:54

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