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Eccentric activation and muscle damage: biomechanical and physiological considerations during downhill running.
  1. R G Eston,
  2. J Mickleborough,
  3. V Baltzopoulos
  1. Division of Health and Human Performance, University of Wales, Bangor, UK.


    An eccentric muscle activation is the controlled lengthening of the muscle under tension. Functionally, most leg muscles work eccentrically for some part of a normal gait cycle, to support the weight of the body against gravity and to absorb shock. During downhill running the role of eccentric work of the 'anti-gravity' muscles--knee extensors, muscles of the anterior and posterior tibial compartments and hip extensors--is accentuated. The purpose of this paper is to review the relationship between eccentric muscle activation and muscle damage, particularly as it relates to running, and specifically, downhill running.

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