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Keywords:

  • eccentric exercise;
  • fascicular geometry;
  • muscle plasticity;
  • quadriceps femoris;
  • ultrasonography

ABSTRACT

Introduction: Changes in muscle architecture induced by eccentric knee extensor training remain unclear, as well the adaptive responses of synergistic knee extensor muscles with different geometrical designs. Methods: Ultrasonography images were taken from rectus femoris (RF) and vastus lateralis (VL) of 20 male volunteers before and after a non-training control period of 4 weeks, and additional evaluations were performed after 4, 8, and 12 weeks of isokinetic eccentric training. Results: RF and VL had significant changes in muscle architecture within the first 4 training weeks, and the adaptive response throughout the intervention was similar. Muscle thickness increased by around 7–10%, fascicle length increased 17–19%, and pennation angle was unchanged. Conclusions: Increased muscle thickness due to eccentric training was related to increased fascicle length and not to pennation angle changes. Although RF and VL have a different fascicular geometry, they had similar morphological adaptations to eccentric training. Muscle Nerve 48: 498–506, 2013