Eccentric exercise improves joint flexibility in adults: a systematic review update and meta-analysis

Review written by Dr Jarred Boyd info

Key Points

  1. Joint flexibility (as measured by joint range of motion) demonstrates improvements via eccentric exercise in adults.
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BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVE

Left unresolved, constraints may hinder the range of movement solutions an athlete can adopt, and thus ineffective strategies may perpetually arise, which can ultimately impede performance and potentially instigate injury. The demonstration of “compensatory” movement expression may be a manifestation of limited joint flexibility to achieve a specific position. Consequently, we may prescribe specific mobility biased movements in attempt to improve this.

However, perhaps improved methods such as eccentric exercise are viable solutions for the acquisition of joint flexibility, ultimately increasing the movement (and even force generating boundaries) that not only athletes, but also individuals with orthopedic and neurological conditions may benefit from. The primary aim of this meta-analysis was to investigate the effect of eccentric exercise on joint flexibility, specifically in adults.

Constraints may hinder the range of movement solutions an athlete can adopt, which can ultimately impede performance and potentially instigate injury.
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Eccentric exercise appears to be a pragmatic solution as one can not only attain joint flexibility affordances, but simultaneously achieve physiological muscle-tendon unit adaptations.

METHODS

This study was a systematic review update and meta-analysis, implying the data presented is a representative summary of the empirical evidence per the eligibility criteria. The specifics of the eligibility criteria consisted of:

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