Strength Basics

Getting stronger, fitter, and healthier by sticking to the basics. It's not rocket science, it's doing the simple stuff the right way. Strength-Basics updates every Monday, plus extra posts during the week.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Exercise one arm, help the other

Chris over at Conditioning Research found this study.

Here is the wrap-up of the abstract:

"Data support observations that the repeated bout effect transfers to the opposite (untrained) limb. The similar reduction in MF between bouts for the two groups provides evidence for a centrally mediated, neural adaptation."

MF being "median frequency."

Two take-home points in this abstract:

- exercising one limb does positively affect the other. Have a hurt arm, bad shoulder, bad leg? Exercise the other one and transfer will occur.

- central adaptation to exercise occurs along with specific, peripheral adaptation. Basically your whole body gets better when you exercise, and one limb will "transfer" effects of training to the other (presumably because your nervous system is adapting).

So when you've got a hurt limb, there is provable benefit to laying off that one but still working on the other one. That's been common wisdom for a long time but it's nice to see more research supporting it.

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