Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
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Resistance training enhances the stability of sensorimotor coordination

,
Barry Benjamin

Barry Benjamin

Perception and Motor Systems Laboratory, School of Human Movement Studies, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia

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,
Riek Stephan

Riek Stephan

Perception and Motor Systems Laboratory, School of Human Movement Studies, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia

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and
Richard G. Carson

Richard G. Carson

Perception and Motor Systems Laboratory, School of Human Movement Studies, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia

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Published:https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2000.1356

    Strategies for the control of human movement are constrained by the neuroanatomical characteristics of the motor system. In particular, there is evidence that the capacity of muscles for producing force has a strong influence on the stability of coordination in certain movement tasks. In the present experiment, our aim was to determine whether physiological adaptations that cause relatively long–lasting changes in the ability of muscles to produce force can influence the stability of coordination in a systematic manner. We assessed the effects of resistance training on the performance of a difficult coordination task that required participants to synchronize or syncopate movements of their index finger with an auditory metronome. Our results revealed that training that increased isometric finger strength also enhanced the stability of movement coordination. These changes were accompanied by alterations in muscle recruitment patterns. In particular, the trained muscles were recruited in a more consistent fashion following the programme of resistance training. These results indicate that resistance training produces functional adaptations of the neuroanatomical constraints that underlie the control of voluntary movement.