Electromyography, cross education, neuromuscular, unilateral resistance training
Cross education is the phenomenon by which the untrained limb will experience a gain in strength following a unilateral resistance training program. However, little is known as to the underlying adaptation occurring in the untrained limb. Purpose: To examine the effect of dynamic unilateral resistance training on the strength and neuromuscular adaptations of both the trained and untrained legs. Methods: Eight previously untrained males (22.38±2.92 y, 1.73±0.08 m, 75.26±14.53 kg) completed a four-week unilateral resistance training program, while another eight untrained males (24.00±4.57 y, 1.84±0.05 m, 94.21±16.14 kg) served as controls. Isometric leg extension strength, leg press 1 repetition maximum (1RM), leg extension 1RM, root mean square of the maximal electromyographic amplitude (EMG), submaximal EMG, dynamic neuromuscular economy (NME) and the slope of NME-power output relationship were determined before and after training to assess the changes in strength and neuromuscular adaptations of the vastus lateralis (VL) and rectus femoris (RF) in both the trained and untrained legs. The unilateral resistance training program was conducted on the dominant leg (DOM) in the unilateral resistance training group (URT) and was compared to the dominant leg of the control group (CON). Cross education was measured in the nondominant leg (NON) for both groups. The unilateral resistance training program was completed three days per week for a total of twelve training sessions. Exercises included in the training program were unilateral leg press, unilateral leg extension, bilateral chest press and bilateral low row. All data was analyzed using one-way analysis of covariance of the post-testing values using the pre-testing values as the covariate. Further analysis of the EMG and NME data was performed using magnitude-based inferences. Results: The URT group improved their isometric (DOM:11.03%, NON:4.98%), leg press (DOM:77.63%, NON:64.88%) and leg extension (DOM:46.76%, NON:16.43%) strength after the four weeks of resistance training. There was no difference between the groups in isometric strength in the dominant (p=0.188) or nondominant (p=0.948) leg. For leg extension 1RM, there was a significant difference between groups in the dominant leg (p=0.018), but not the nondominant leg (p=0.482). However, there were significant group differences in both the dominant (p=0.003) and nondominant (p=0.034) leg for leg press 1RM. In terms of maximal EMG, the training groups improved in the vastus lateralis (DOM:29.81%, NON:31.44%) and rectus femoris (DOM:20.71%, NON:6.26%) individually, as well as in total EMG (DOM:24.78%, NON:17.57%). There was a Likely Positive or Very Likely Positive effect of unilateral resistance training on the changes in maximal EMG of the vastus lateralis and rectus femoris in both the dominant and nondominant legs. There was a Likely Positive effect of unilateral resistance training on the submaximal EMG of the dominant vastus lateralis at 75 and 125 watts. Conversely, in the rectus femoris, there was Unclear effects of unilateral resistance training on the submaximal EMG of the dominant leg. There was no consistent effect of unilateral resistance training on submaximal EMG values of the vastus lateralis in the nondominant leg. However, the rectus femoris in the nondominant leg experienced a Likely Positive effect of unilateral resistance training on submaximal EMG. NME improved in the URT group in the VL at 75 (DOM:9.73%, NON:13.42%), 100 (DOM:8.76%, NON:8.21%), and 125(DOM:24.26%, NON:12.8%) watts and in the RF at 75 (DOM:22.25%, NON:15.73%), 100(DOM:24.85%, NON:17.05%) and 125 (DOM:30.99%) watts. In terms of neuromuscular economy, there was a Likely Positive or Very Likely Positive effect of unilateral resistance training on most measures of NME on both the vastus lateralis and rectus femoris in both the dominant and nondominant legs. In terms of NME slope, there was only a Likely Positive effect of unilateral resistance training on the dominant vastus lateralis. Conclusion: Based on these results, it appears that the cross education of strength from unilateral resistance training is modality-specific. Furthermore, the NME of both the vastus lateralis and rectus femoris in both legs appear to improve following unilateral resistance training. However, in the nondominant leg, the improvement in NME appears to be due solely to the increase in maximal EMG, whereas the improved NME in the dominant leg is due to both an increase in maximal EMG and a decrease in submaximal EMG.
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Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Education and Human Performance
Child, Family, and Community Sciences
Sport & Exercise Science; Applied Exercise Physiology Track
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Dissertations, Academic -- Education and Human Performance; Education and Human Performance -- Dissertations, Academic
Beyer, Kyle, "The Cross Education of Neuromuscular Economy" (2014). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 4826.