Exercise can not only stengthen muscle but also damage it. Certain risk factors can result in muscle damage severe enough to cause clinical rhabdomyolysis.


Exercise that involves eccentric contractions may be associated with an increased risk for muscle damage.


Risk factors for severe muscle damage during eccentric exercises:

(1) first workout involving eccentric contractions

(2) limited muscular development in the muscles exposed to eccentric contractions

(3) heavy workout


Example of an occurrence: multiple players in a college female soccer team admitted to the hospital with rhabdomyolysis following a workout on the first day of classes that was intended for building upper body strength and that involved eccentric contractions


Stretching muscles after the workout may further increase the risk.


The muscle damage may range from simple muscle soreness to massive rhabdomyolysis.


A second workout involving eccentric exercises a few days later is associated with a lower risk for muscle damage (repeat bout effect).


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