Exercise-induced muscle damage (initial phase)

The presence of certain genetic variants could explain why some people are less likely to be injured than others, as well as having an easier time recovering from prolonged and strenuous exercise. Knowing how someone will respond to a particular type of exercise can guide us in personalizing our workouts, while reducing the risk of injury associated with muscle overload.

Exercise can produce muscle damage through a series of two types of alterations, some of early onset and of mechanical origin, while others are a consequence of the previous ones and are due to the inflammatory process triggered.

Eccentric exercise training is one of the most commonly used models. Eccentric exercise is that in which the muscles are stretched while maintaining their contraction, such as, for example, squats.

This type of exercise is successfully included in the training of different sports contexts, improving muscle strength, coordination and performance. Changes in the elastic properties of muscles and connective tissue are known to occur. However, containing an eccentric exercise phase, it is highly associated with muscle damage and soreness.

As older people appear to be more susceptible to exercise-induced muscle damage than younger adults, older people with a genetic predisposition to increased muscle damage may be at increased risk of developing muscle and tendon injuries.

Genes analyzed

ACTN3 MYLK2

Bibliography

Baumert P, Lake MJ, Stewart CE, Drust B, Erskine RM. Genetic variation and exercise-induced muscle damage: implications for athletic performance, injury and ageing. Eur J Appl Physiol, 2016; 116(9):1595–625.

Ben-Zaken S, Eliakim A, Nemet D, Rabinovich M, Kassem E, Meckel Y. ACTN3 Polymorphism: Comparison Between Elite Swimmers and Runners. Sport Med, 2015;1(1):13.

Deuster PA, Contreras-Sesvold CL, O’Connor FG, Campbell WW, Kenney K, Capacchione JF, et al. Genetic polymorphisms associated with exertional rhabdomyolysis. Eur J Appl Physiol, 2013; 113(8):1997–2004.

Pimenta EM, Coelho DB, Cruz IR, Morandi RF, Veneroso CE, de Azambuja Pussieldi G, et al. The ACTN3 genotype in soccer players in response to acute eccentric training. Eur J Appl Physiol, 2012; 112(4):1495–503.

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