Combinatory effects of high-intensity-strength training and sensorimotor training on muscle strength

Int J Sports Med. 2006 May;27(5):401-6. doi: 10.1055/s-2005-865750.


It has been shown in classical strength training studies using high loads that improvements in rate of force development are mainly due to adaptations in the intramuscular coordination. Adaptations following sensorimotor training were also characterized by improvements in the rate of force development during maximum voluntary isometric contraction. The purpose of the present study was to investigate neuromuscular adaptations of combined sensorimotor and classical strength training. Eighteen subjects were randomly assigned to two groups. Group 1 (SMT-HST) had to perform a period of sensorimotor training at first and a high-intensity strength training afterwards. Group 2 (HST-SMT) performed the high intensity strength training at first and the sensorimotor training after. Maximum voluntary isometric contraction and neuromuscular activation were measured at three occasions: Before training, after the first, and after the second period. The results after the first period confirmed the positive effects of both training regimen on rate of force development (13 % [SMT-HST] and 27 % [HST-SMT], p < 0.05) and on maximum strength (9 % [HST-SMT] and 12 % [SMT-HST], p < 0.05) during maximum voluntary contraction. Improvements caused by sensorimotor training could only be achieved, when it was performed at first. It is supposed that classical strength training with high loads basically improves the mechanical efficiency of the effectors, whereas sensorimotor training alters the afferent input on the central nervous system. In combination, the sensorimotor training can have preconditioning effects on the strength training. A combination of both training methods can thus be recommended, if the sensorimotor training is performed at first.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Adult
  • Electromyography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Physical Education and Training / methods*