Date of Award


Degree Type

Creative Project

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Kinesiology and Health Science

Committee Chair(s)

Brennan Thompson


Brennan Thompson


Dale Wagner


Eadric Bressel


Purpose: Early adaptations of eccentric training show several advantages over concentric training. The purpose of this study was to quantify the effects of 4 weeks of multi-joint eccentric training versus traditional leg press training on muscle strength, rate of torque development (RTD; rapid strength) and jump and sprint performance adaptations.

Methods: Twenty-six resistance trained college-aged men and women performed either an eccentric or a traditional (control) resistance training program twice per week for 4 weeks. Single-joint isometric maximum and rapid strength (Biodex dynamometer; peak torque and RTD, respectively) and isokinetic strength of the knee extensors and flexors, maximum multi-joint eccentric strength (Eccentron dynamometer), leg press strength (1-RM), and vertical jump, long jump, and 40 m sprint were measured before (Pre), at the midpoint (Mid; week 2; for strength tests only), and after (Post) a 4 week training period.

Results: Four weeks of isokinetic multi-joint eccentric training elicited greater test-specific (Eccentron) strength gains (effect size; ES = 1.06 for Pre-vs. Post) compared to traditional leg press training (ES = 0.11). The eccentric group (ES = 0.51 and 0.54 for flexors and extensors) also yielded moderate improvements in the early-middle phase RTD (RTD100-200]) whereas the control group showed small-moderate improvements (ES = 0.37). The majority of the single-joint (Biodex) strength variables showed no to small improvements. Neither of these training programs provided short-term (4 week) meaningful improvements in jump or sprint performance.

Conclusion: Eccentric multi-joint training displayed test specific improvements for lower body strength in a relatively short amount of time for a trained population. These accelerated adaptations and also the lowered energy requirements of eccentric exercise may be particularly useful for allied health professionals or other practitioners in need of appropriate training programs for those who are injured, sedentary, or less abled (elderly), for time efficient muscle function improvements.