Does the reticulospinal tract mediate adaptation to resistance training in humans?

Atkinson, Elliott, Škarabot, Jakob, Ansdell, Paul, Goodall, Stuart, Howatson, Glyn and Thomas, Kevin (2022) Does the reticulospinal tract mediate adaptation to resistance training in humans? Journal of Applied Physiology, 133 (3). pp. 517-785. ISSN 8750-7587

japplphysiol.00264.2021.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (1MB) | Preview
japplphysiol.00264.2021.pdf - Accepted Version

Download (7MB) | Preview
Official URL:


Resistance training increases volitional force producing capacity, and it is widely accepted that such an increase is partly underpinned by adaptations in the central nervous system, particularly in the early phases of training. Despite this, the neural substrate(s) responsible for mediating adaptation remains largely unknown. Most studies have focused on the corticospinal tract, the main descending pathway controlling movement in humans, with equivocal findings. It is possible that neural adaptation to resistance training is mediated by other structures; one such candidate is the reticulospinal tract. The aim of this narrative mini-review is to articulate the potential of the reticulospinal tract to underpin adaptations in muscle strength. Specifically, we 1) discuss why the structure and function of the reticulospinal tract implicates it as a potential site for adaptation; 2) review the animal and human literature that supports the idea of the reticulospinal tract as an important neural substrate underpinning adaptation to resistance training; and 3) examine the potential methodological options to assess the reticulospinal tract in humans.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Neuromuscular, strength training, TES, TMS, StartReact
Subjects: B100 Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology
C600 Sports Science
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 16 Aug 2022 10:43
Last Modified: 14 Jul 2023 03:30

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics