Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - ECU Access Only


Edith Cowan University

Degree Name

Master of Science (Sports Science)


School of Medical and Health Sciences

First Supervisor

Professor Ken Nosaka

Second Supervisor

Dr Favil Singh


The benefits of resistance training for people with Type 2 diabetes (T2D) are well documented; however, the effects of different muscle contraction types (e.g. eccentric, concentric) on physiological outcomes for this population are still unclear. This study investigated the effects of eccentric (ECC) versus concentric (CON) resistance training on blood markers, muscle strength, physical functional performance and body composition. Eighteen adults with T2D (Age: 64.8 ± 9.0 y; BMI: 30.3 ± 4.1 kg/m2) were randomly assigned to either an ECC (n = 9) or a CON (n = 9) group. Participants performed 2 or 3 sets of 10 eccentric (5-s) or concentric (2-s) contractions of eight upper and lower body resistance exercises, twice a week for 12 weeks. Training intensity gradually increased from 10 to 100% of 1-repetition maximum concentric strength (1-RM) for the ECC group and from 50 to 100% of 1-RM strength for the CON group, based on the 1-RM at baseline. Blood markers (glucose, insulin, HbA1c, HOMA2-IR, cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL and LDL), muscle strength (1- RM), body composition (dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry), and physical functional performance tests consisting of 6-min walk (6MWT), chair rise (CR), timed up-and-go (TUG), and balance were measured before and after the intervention, and the changes were compared between groups. Significant differences in the improvement between the ECC and CON group were found for 1-RM strength for bicep curl (ECC: 11%, CON: 27%), calf raise (ECC: 37%, CON: 68%) and abdominal crunch (ECC: 22%, CON: 42%) exercises, hip circumference (ECC: -1%, CON: -5%) and SF-36 pain measures (ECC: 6%, CON: -1%). Muscle strength significantly increased more for the CON group (27–68%) than the ECC group (12–37%) which was likely due to greater combined total load lifted in the CON (143,262 ± 57,972 kg) than the ECC group (111,678 ± 51,225 kg). Significant improvements (p < 0.05) were also found in the ECC group for the 6MWT (56.8 ± 2.2 m), TUG (-0.8 ± 0.3 s) and CR (-1.8 ± 1.4 s), while the CON group significantly improved the 6MWT (63.4 ± 12.0 m) and CR (-2.3 ± 1.6 s). Total equilibrium balance increased by 7.0% in the ECC group and 4.3% in the CON group. Body composition improved similarly for both groups including significant reductions in total fat mass (ECC: -2.0 ± 1.3 kg, CON: -2.2 ± 1.2 kg) and significant increase in total lean mass (ECC: 1.8 ± 0.7 kg, CON: 2.0 ± 0.2 kg). No significant changes were found in blood markers for both groups. These results showed that ECC training performed at lower intensities (RPE: 4.1 ± 2.1) was as effective as CON training for improving physical functional performance, strength and body composition. These findings suggest that focusing on eccentric contractions in resistance training is beneficial and well-tolerated in adults with T2D.