neural adaptation

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Adaptive changes in the nervous system in response to training. Neural adaptations are concerned with the ability of the nervous system to activate and coordinate the appropriate muscles for a task. The adaptations may include increased activation and selective activation of agonists within a muscle group, and inhibition or co-contraction of antagonists (see antagonistic co-contraction). Neural adaptations predominate in the first weeks of a new training programme, preceding morphological adaptations. In strength training, for example, improvements due to neural adaptations precede those due to muscle hypertrophy.

Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.

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