The effect of unilateral eccentric weight training and detraining on joint angle specificity, cross-training, and the bilateral deficit

J Orthop Sports Phys Ther. 1995 Nov;22(5):207-15. doi: 10.2519/jospt.1995.22.5.207.


Eccentric resistance training is an important component of many rehabilitation protocols. The adaptations following eccentric training are poorly understood in relation to concentric training. The purpose of this investigation was to examine the effects of unilateral eccentric leg extension weight training and detraining on joint angle specificity, cross-training, and the bilateral deficit. Seventeen males volunteered to be subjects for this investigation and were divided into an eccentric training group (N = 9) and a control group (N = 8). The eccentric group performed 8 weeks of unilateral eccentric weight training with the nondominant limb three times per week (3-5 sets of six repetitions) followed by 8 weeks of detraining. These subjects were tested pretraining, posttraining, and following detraining for maximal isometric strength at three joint angles (15, 45, and 75 degrees) in both limbs as well as for the one-repetition maximum (1-RM) eccentric strength of the trained limb, untrained limb, and bilaterally. The results of this investigation indicated that the effects of the eccentric weight training were joint angle specific [significant increases at 45 and 75 degrees (p < 0.05)]. This effect was found in both limbs, indicating a cross-training effect that was joint angle specific. The results from the 1-RM analyses indicated that the bilateral deficit exists for eccentric contractions (untrained limb > bilateral at pretraining) and that unilateral eccentric training increases this effect (trained and untrained limbs > bilateral posttraining); however, the unilateral training also resulted in increased bilateral strength. Both the 1-RM and isometric analyses showed that the training effects persisted over 8 weeks of detraining.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / physiology*
  • Leg / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Weight Lifting / physiology*