The effects of unilateral and bilateral eccentric overload training on hypertrophy, muscle power and COD performance, and its determinants, in team sport players

The study aimed to compare the chronic eccentric-overload training effects of unilateral (lateral lunge) vs bilateral (half-squat) using an inertial device, on hypertrophy and physical performance. Twenty-seven young team sports male players performed a 4 sets of 7 repeti- tions of inertial eccentric overload training, biweekly for 6 weeks, distributed in unilateral lunge group (UG: age: 22.8 ± 2.9 years; body mass: 75.3 ± 8.8 kg; height: 177.3 ± 3.7 cm) and bilateral squat group (BG: age: 22.6 ± 2.7 years; body mass: 79.5 ± 12.8 kg; height: 164.2 ± 7 cm). Lower limb muscle volume, counter movement jump (CMJ), power with both (POWER), dominant (POWERd) and no-dominant leg (POWERnd), change of direction turn of 90 ̊ with dominant (COD90d) and no-dominant leg (COD90nd) and 180 ̊ (COD180d and COD180nd), and 10m sprint time (T-10m) were measured pre and post-intervention. The UG obtained an increase of adductor major (+11.1%) and vastus medialis (+12.6%) higher than BG. The BG obtained an increase of vastus lateralis (+9.9%) and lateral gas- trocnemius (+9.1%) higher than UG. Both groups improved CMJ, POWER, POWERd, POWERnd, COD90 and DEC-COD90, without changes in T-10m. The UG decrease DEC- COD90nd (-21.1%) and BG increase POWER (+38.6%) substantially more than the other group. Six-weeks of unilateral / bilateral EO training induce substantial improvements in lower limbs muscle volume and functional performance, although unilateral training seems to be more effective in improving COD90 performance.