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Does longer-muscle length resistance training cause greater longitudinal growth in humans?

A systematic review




sarcomerogenesis, fascicle length, lengthened supersets, Biarticular Muscles, lengthened partials, longitudinal growth, serial sarcomere number, Stretching


The purpose of this paper was to systematically review the literature regarding the effects of resistance training (RT) performed at longer-muscle length (LML) versus shorter-muscle length (SML) on proxy measurements for longitudinal hypertrophy. We included studies that satisfied the following criteria: (1) be a resistance training intervention with a comparison of LML vs SML-RT; (2) assess both fascicle length (FL) and muscle size pre- and post-intervention; (3) involve healthy adults aged ≥ 18 years; (4) be published in an English-language journal, and; (5) have a minimum training intervention duration of 4 weeks. Three databases were searched in February 2024 (Google Scholar, PubMed/Medline, Scopus) for relevant articles, alongside 'forward' and 'backward' citation searching of articles included and additions via authors' personal knowledge.Study quality was assessed using the 'Standards Method for Assessment of Resistance Training in Longitudinal Designs' (SMART-LD). Results of studies were described narratively, compared, and contrasted. Eight studies met inclusion criteria, totaling a sample size 120. Our results suggest that both muscle size and fascicle length increases may be greater following LML-RT versus SML-RT, suggesting LML-RT may lead to greater longitudinal hypertrophy than SML-RT. Notably, evidence is largely mixed, no studies to date have attempted to estimate serial sarcomere number changes from LML versus SML-RT, and all but one study used linear extrapolation methods to estimate FL, which has questionable validity. Therefore, the structural adaptations underlying hypertrophy from LML-RT remain undetermined. In conclusion, results suggest that LML-RT may be superior to SML-RT for inducing muscle hypertrophy, and, more specifically, longitudinal growth, though evidence is mixed. This systematic review was pre-registered ( and no funding was used for completion of this review.


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