Neuromuscular adaptations induced by adjacent joint training

R. Ema, I. Saito, R. Akagi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Effects of resistance training are well known to be specific to tasks that are involved during training. However, it remains unclear whether neuromuscular adaptations are induced after adjacent joint training. This study examined the effects of hip flexion training on maximal and explosive knee extension strength and neuromuscular performance of the rectus femoris (RF, hip flexor, and knee extensor) compared with the effects of knee extension training. Thirty-seven untrained young men were randomly assigned to hip flexion training, knee extension training, or a control group. Participants in the training groups completed 4 weeks of isometric hip flexion or knee extension training. Standardized differences in the mean change between the training groups and control group were interpreted as an effect size, and the substantial effect was assumed to be ≥0.20 of the between-participant standard deviation at baseline. Both types of training resulted in substantial increases in maximal (hip flexion training group: 6.2% ± 10.1%, effect size = 0.25; knee extension training group: 20.8% ± 9.9%, effect size = 1.11) and explosive isometric knee extension torques and muscle thickness of the RF in the proximal and distal regions. Improvements in strength were accompanied by substantial enhancements in voluntary activation, which was determined using the twitch interpolation technique and RF activation. Differences in training effects on explosive torques and neural variables between the two training groups were trivial. Our findings indicate that hip flexion training results in substantial neuromuscular adaptations during knee extensions similar to those induced by knee extension training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)947-960
Number of pages14
JournalScandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Mar


  • electromyography
  • hip flexion
  • isometric training
  • knee extension
  • maximal strength
  • rate of torque development
  • rectus femoris muscle
  • training specificity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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