INTRODUCTION: Unilateral resistance training has been shown to improve muscle strength in both the trained and the untrained limb. One of the most widely accepted theories is that this improved performance is due to nervous system adaptations, specifically in the primary motor cortex. According to this hypothesis, increased corticospinal excitability (CSE), measured with transcranial magnetic stimulation, is one of the main adaptations observed following prolonged periods of training. The principal aim of this review is to determine the degree of adaptation of CSE and its possible functional association with increased strength in the untrained limb.
DEVELOPMENT: We performed a systematic literature review of studies published between January 1970 and December 2016, extracted from Medline (via PubMed), Ovid, Web of Science, and Science Direct online databases. The search terms were as follows: (transcranial magnetic stimulation OR excitability) AND (strength training OR resistance training OR force) AND (cross transfer OR contralateral limb OR cross education). A total of 10 articles were found.
CONCLUSION: Results regarding increased CSE were inconsistent. Although the possibility that the methodology had a role in this inconsistency cannot be ruled out, the results appear to suggest that there may not be a functional association between increases in muscle strength and in CSE.
|Translated title of the contribution||Does ipsilateral corticospinal excitability play a decisive role in the cross-education effect caused by unilateral resistance training?: A systematic review|
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Neurologia (Barcelona, Spain)|
|Early online date||2-Jan-2018|
|Publication status||Published - May-2021|