Exercise prescription and strategies to promote the cross-education of strength: a scoping review

Caleb C. Voskuil, Justin W. Andrushko, Boglarka S. Huddleston, Jonathan P. Farthing, Joshua C. Carr*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This review examines the experimental evidence regarding unilateral resistance training frequency, intensity, the type of training, training volume, and adjuvant therapies on the cross-education of strength. CINAHL, MEDLINE, APA PsycInfo, SPORTDiscus, and Web of Science were systematically searched with gray literature searches and pearling of references thereafter. Experiments were included in the review if they performed a unilateral resistance training intervention that directly compared the dose of a training variable on the cross-education response in healthy or clinical populations following a minimum of two weeks of training. Experiments must have reported maximal strength outcomes for the untrained limb. For each experiment, the study population, intervention methods, the dosage of the training variable being studied, and the outcomes for the untrained, contralateral limb were identified and collectively synthesized. The search returned a total of 912 articles, 57 of which qualified for inclusion. The results show that experimental trials have been conducted on resistance training frequency (n = 4), intensity (n = 7), the type of training (n = 26), training volume (n = 3), and adjuvant therapies (n = 17) on the cross-education of strength. This review maps the available evidence regarding exercise design and prescription strategies to promote the cross-education of strength. It appears that traditional resistance training frequencies (i.e., 2–3×/week) at high intensities are effective at promoting cross-education with eccentric muscle actions showing additive benefits. There is experimental evidence that neuromodulatory techniques can augment cross-education when layered with unilateral resistance training versus training alone. Registration identifier (osf.io/9sh5b).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)569-582
Number of pages14
JournalApplied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism
Issue number8
Early online date9 Jun 2023
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2023
Externally publishedYes

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