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Eccentric muscle actions do not promote superior hypertrophy compared with concentric actions

a systematic review and meta-analysis


  • Leonardo Santos Lopes Da Silva Department of Internal Medicine, Ribeirão Preto Medical School, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil
  • Leonardo da Silva Gonçalves Department of Internal Medicine, Ribeirão Preto Medical School, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil
  • Pedro Henrique Alves Campos School of Physical Education and Sport of Ribeirão Preto (EEFERP/USP), University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil
  • Cícero Jonas Rodrigues Benjamim Department of Internal Medicine, Ribeirão Preto Medical School, University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil
  • Márcio Fernando Tasinafo J´unior School of Physical Education and Sport of Ribeirão Preto (EEFERP/USP), University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil
  • Leonardo Coelho Rabello de Lima School of Physical Education and Sport of Ribeirão Preto (EEFERP/USP), University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil
  • Carlos Roberto Bueno Júnior School of Physical Education and Sport of Ribeirão Preto (EEFERP/USP), University of São Paulo, Ribeirão Preto, Brazil
  • Charles Phillipe de Lucena Alves Graduate Program in Epidemiology at Federal University of Pelotas, Pelotas, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil



muscle growth, shortening, lengthening, strength training


Different physiological mechanisms of sarcomere activity during eccentric (ECC) and concentric (CON) muscle actions led to investigations into muscle hypertrophy outcomes, but conclusions remain elusive. We aimed to investigate the effects of ECC vs. CON muscle actions on muscle hypertrophy in apparently healthy adults through a systematic review with meta-analysis. The searches were conducted on EMBASE, MedLine, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, Scopus, and SPORTSDiscus databases. Eligibility criteria: blinded and unblinded randomized controlled trials that investigated the effects of CON versus ECC resistance training programs in apparently healthy adults (≥18 years old). These studies should have performed hypertrophy measurements in outcomes using cross-sectional area, muscle thickness, or muscle volume assessed by imaging methods. 15778 studies were identified, and twenty-six (682 participants included in the meta-analysis) achieved the inclusion criteria. The main findings indicate that: there was no difference between ECC vs. CON on hypertrophy measurements (0.285 [95%CI: -0.131 to 0.701]; p= 0.179; I2: 84.4%; GRADE: Very low). Subgroup meta-analysis analyzing possible hypertrophy outcome moderators as age (18 to 59 years old and ≥60 years old) and weeks of intervention duration (≤8 weeks and >8 weeks) did not reveal differences between ECC vs. CON. Sub-group analysis revealed a very limited but significant effect for ECC on the upper limb muscles (1.44 [95%CI: 0.179 to 2692]; p= 0.025; I2: 91%; GRADE: Low). Our findings suggest there was no evidence of a difference in hypertrophy between ECC and CON muscle action in apparently healthy adults.


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