Strength training biases goal-directed aiming

Selvanayagam, Victor S., Riek, Stephan, de Rugy, Aymar and Carroll, Timothy J. (2016) Strength training biases goal-directed aiming. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 48 9: 1835-1846. doi:10.1249/MSS.0000000000000956

Author Selvanayagam, Victor S.
Riek, Stephan
de Rugy, Aymar
Carroll, Timothy J.
Title Strength training biases goal-directed aiming
Journal name Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1530-0315
Publication date 2016-04-26
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1249/MSS.0000000000000956
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 48
Issue 9
Start page 1835
End page 1846
Total pages 39
Place of publication Philadelphia, PA, United States
Publisher Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
Collection year 2017
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Purpose: Goal directed movements tend to resemble the characteristics of previously executed actions. Here we investigated whether a single bout of strength training, which typically involves stereotyped actions requiring strong neural drive, can bias subsequent aiming behaviour towards the direction of trained forces.

Methods: In experiment 1 (n=10), we tested the direction of force exerted in an isometric aiming task before and after 40 repetitions of 2s maximal-force ballistic contractions toward a single directional target. In experiment 2 (n=12), each participant completed three training conditions in a counter-balanced, crossover design. In two conditions, both the aiming task and training were conducted in the same (neutral) forearm posture. In one of these conditions, the training involved weak forces to determine whether the level of neural drive during training influences the degree of bias. In the third condition, high-force training contractions were performed in a 90° pronated forearm posture, whereas the low-force aiming task was performed in a neutral forearm posture. This dissociated the extrinsic training direction from the pulling direction of the trained muscles during the aiming task.

Results: In experiment 1, we found that aiming direction was biased towards the training direction across a large area of the work space (approximately +/−135°; tested for 16 targets spaced 22.5° apart), while in experiment 2, we found systematic bias in aiming toward the training direction defined in extrinsic space, but only immediately after high-force contractions.

Conclusion: Our findings suggest that bias effects of training involving strong neural drive generalize broadly to untrained movement directions, and are expressed according to extrinsic rather than muscle-based coordinates
Keyword Resistance training
Motor learning
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences Publications
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