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Open AccessReview

Tendon Adaptations to Eccentric Exercise and the Implications for Older Adults

School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2TT, UK
NIHR Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre, University Hospitals Birmingham, NHS Foundation Trust and University of Birmingham, Birmingham B15 2GW, UK
Department of Biomedical Sciences, Institute of Physiology, University of Padua, 35131 Padua, Italy
Department of Life Sciences, Research Centre for Musculoskeletal Science and Sports Medicine, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester M1 5GD, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2019, 4(3), 60;
Received: 14 July 2019 / Revised: 14 August 2019 / Accepted: 19 August 2019 / Published: 20 August 2019
The purpose of this short review is to discuss the effects of eccentric exercise in modifying the properties of tendon tissue in healthy individuals. The tendon provides a mechanical link between muscle and bone, allowing force transmission to the skeleton, and thus, its properties have significant functional implications. Chronic resistance training has long been shown to increase the stiffness and Young’s modulus of the tendon and even tendon cross-sectional area. However, as the tendon responds to the amount and/or frequency of strain, it has been previously suggested that eccentric training may result in greater adaptations due to the potential for greater training loads. Thus, this review discusses the effects of eccentric training upon healthy tendon tissue and compares these to other training modalities. Furthermore, it has been reported that the tendon may undergo adverse age-related changes. Thus, this review also discusses the potential application of eccentric resistance training as a preferential modality for counteracting these age-related changes. We conclude that while there may be no difference between contraction types for overall tendon adaptation, the lower demands of eccentric contractions may make it more appealing for the elderly population. View Full-Text
Keywords: tendon; ageing; eccentric; resistance training; eccentric training tendon; ageing; eccentric; resistance training; eccentric training
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Quinlan, J.I.; Narici, M.V.; Reeves, N.D.; Franchi, M.V. Tendon Adaptations to Eccentric Exercise and the Implications for Older Adults. J. Funct. Morphol. Kinesiol. 2019, 4, 60.

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