School of Medical and Health Sciences / Centre for Human Performance
Eccentric resistance exercise emphasizes active muscle lengthening against resistance. In the past 15 years, researchers and practitioners have expressed considerable interest in accentuated eccentric (i.e., eccentric overload) and eccentric-only resistance exercise as strategies for enhancing performance and preventing and rehabilitating injuries. However, delivery of eccentric resistance exercise has been challenging because of equipment limitations. Previously, we briefly introduced the concept of connected adaptive resistance exercise (CARE)—the integration of software and hardware to provide a resistance that adjusts in real time and in response to the individual’s volitional force within and between repetitions. The aim of the current paper is to expand this discussion and explain the potential for CARE technology to improve the delivery of eccentric resistance exercise in various settings. First, we overview existing resistance exercise equipment and highlight its limitations for delivering eccentric resistance exercise. Second, we describe CARE and explain how it can accomplish accentuated eccentric and eccentric-only resistance exercise in a new way. We supplement this discussion with preliminary data collected with CARE technology in laboratory and non-laboratory environments. Finally, we discuss the potential for CARE technology to deliver eccentric resistance exercise for various purposes, e.g., research studies, rehabilitation programs, and home-based or telehealth interventions. Overall, CARE technology appears to permit completion of eccentric resistance exercise feasibly in both laboratory and non-laboratory environments and thus has implications for researchers and practitioners in the fields of sports medicine, physiotherapy, exercise physiology, and strength and conditioning. Nevertheless, formal investigations into the impact of CARE technology on participation in eccentric resistance exercise and clinical outcomes are still required.
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