Effects of Eccentric Resistance Training on Lower-limb Passive Joint Range of Motion: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Anthony D. Kay, Brett Baxter, Mathew Hill, Anthony Blazevich

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)
    121 Downloads (Pure)


    Introduction: Substantial increases in joint range of motion (ROM) have been reported following eccentric resistance training, however between-study variability and sample size issues complicate the interpretation of the magnitude of effect.

    Methods: PubMed, Medline and SPORTDiscus databases were searched for studies examining the effects of eccentric training on lower-limb passive joint ROM in healthy human participants. Meta-analysis used an inverse-variance random-effects model to calculate the pooled standardised difference (Hedge's g) with 95% confidence intervals (CI).

    Results: Meta-analysis of 22 ROM outcomes (17 studies; 376 participants) revealed a large increase in lower-limb passive joint ROM (g = 0.86 [CI = 0.65, 1.08]). Subgroup analyses revealed a moderate increase after 4-5 weeks (g = 0.63 [0.27, 0.98]), large increase after 6-8 weeks (g = 0.98 [0.73,1.24]), and moderate increase after 9-14 weeks (g = 0.75 [0.03, 1.46]) of training. Large increases were found in dorsiflexion (g = 1.12 [0.78, 1.47]) and knee extension (g = 0.82 [0.48, 1.17]), but a small increase in knee flexion was observed (g = 0.41 [0.05, 0.77]). A large increase was found after isokinetic (g = 1.07 [0.59, 1.54]) and moderate increase after isotonic (g = 0.77 [0.56, 0.99] training.

    Conclusions: These findings demonstrate the potential of eccentric training as an effective flexibility training intervention and provide evidence for 'best practice' guidelines. The larger effect after isokinetic training despite <50% training sessions being performed is suggestive of a more effective exercise mode, although further research is needed to determine the influence of contraction intensity and to confirm the efficacy of eccentric training in clinical populations.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)710-721
    Number of pages12
    JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
    Issue number4
    Early online date17 Nov 2022
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2023

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright © and Moral Rights are retained by the author(s) and/ or other copyright owners. A copy can be downloaded for personal non-commercial research or study, without prior permission or charge. This item cannot be reproduced or quoted extensively from without first obtaining permission in writing from the copyright holder(s). The content must not be changed in any way or sold commercially in any format or medium without the formal permission of the copyright holders.

    This document is the author’s post-print version, incorporating any revisions agreed during the peer-review process. Some differences between the published version and this version may remain and you are advised to consult the published version if you wish to cite from it.


    • Flexibility
    • Muscle Lengthening
    • Muscle-Tendon Mechanics
    • Passive And Active Stretching

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Medicine(all)


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