Downhill Running: What Are The Effects and How Can We Adapt? A Narrative Review - Université de Toulon Access content directly
Journal Articles Sports Medicine Year : 2020

Downhill Running: What Are The Effects and How Can We Adapt? A Narrative Review

Bastien Bontemps
Fabrice Vercruyssen
  • Function : Author
Julien Louis


Downhill running (DR) is a whole-body exercise model that is used to investigate the physiological consequences of eccentric muscle actions and/or exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD). In a sporting context, DR sections can be part of running disciplines (off-road and road running) and can accentuate EIMD, leading to a reduction in performance. The purpose of this narrative review is to: (1) better inform on the acute and delayed physiological effects of DR; (2) identify and discuss, using a comprehensive approach, the DR characteristics that affect the physiological responses to DR and their potential interactions; (3) provide the current state of evidence on preventive and in-situ strategies to better adapt to DR. Key findings of this review show that DR may have an impact on exercise performance by altering muscle structure and function due to EIMD. In the majority of studies, EIMD are assessed through isometric maximal voluntary contraction, blood creatine kinase and delayed onset muscle soreness, with DR characteristics (slope, exercise duration, and running speed) acting as the main influencing factors. In previous studies, the median (25th percentile, Q 1 ; 75th percentile, Q 3) slope, exercise duration , and running speed were − 12% (− 15%; − 10%), 40 min (30 min; 45 min) and 11.3 km h −1 (9.8 km h −1 ; 12.9 km h −1), respectively. Regardless of DR characteristics, people the least accustomed to DR generally experienced the most EIMD. There is growing evidence to suggest that preventive strategies that consist of prior exposure to DR are the most effective to better tolerate
Fichier principal
Vignette du fichier
Bontemps et al. Sports Med 2020.pdf (1.72 Mo) Télécharger le fichier
Origin : Publisher files allowed on an open archive

Dates and versions

hal-02963668 , version 1 (11-10-2020)



Bastien Bontemps, Fabrice Vercruyssen, Mathieu Gruet, Julien Louis. Downhill Running: What Are The Effects and How Can We Adapt? A Narrative Review. Sports Medicine, 2020, ⟨10.1007/s40279-020-01355-z⟩. ⟨hal-02963668⟩


40 View
63 Download



Gmail Facebook X LinkedIn More