NNEK24008U Strength Training and Motor Control

Volume 2024/2025

MSc Programme in Human Physiology


The course focuses on morphological and physiological factors of importance for muscle strength as well as the neurobiological basis for motor control and skills. The course aims to promote both a detailed mechanistic and integrative understanding of muscle strength and motor control, from muscle and tendon morphology, basic molecular and cellular mechanisms to brain network dynamics and the relationship to behaviour, strength and motor control in real life.

In addition, the course has a primary focus on how adaptations in muscle and tendon tissue etc. as well as changes in the central nervous system underlie changes in strength and motor skills during long-term training. Here, the focus is both on the effects of inactivity and training, on significant factors in the design of training protocols and on the importance of the target group, including age-related effects of training.

In addition to focusing on basic mechanisms of importance for muscle strength and motor control as well as on adaptations to strength training and skill learning, the course focuses on the effects of different forms of strength training. Designing training protocols with the aim of optimizing muscle strength and motor control to promote performance in sports or to promote functional abilities through rehabilitation training will also be addressed.

The students are introduced to different methodological approaches to investigate muscle strength and motor control, training-induced changes as well as the underlying mechanisms. This includes practical experience with and discussion of relevant research methods.

Learning Outcome

The student will achieve the following


  • On factors of importance for muscle strength and motor control and associations to functional abilities and athletic performance
  • About morphological, physiological and functional effects strength training, skill learning and inactivity and the underlying mechanisms.
  • About effects of strength training and skill learning throughout life, as well as knowledge of the importance diet can have.
  • On health-promoting and rehabilittion effects of strength training and skill learning.
  • On the effects of strength training and skill learning on athletic performance.



The student will

  • Be able to design and carry out experimental studies that test a relevant issue related to strength training and motor control and be able to discuss this in relation to the existing knowledge (including selecting and discussing relevant literature).
  • Gain practical ability to design protocols and implement different types of strength and skill training adapted to the given target group
  • Be able to perform simple laboratory based and functional tests.



The student will

  • Be able to analyze, present and discuss scientific problems, research methods and scientific studies in the context of the scientific background literature
  • Be able to discuss the basis for differences in muscle strength and motor control as well as for training-induced changes, including the importance of modifying factors such as age, type of training, etc. and discuss causality.
  • Be able to discuss the choice of training and testing methods in relation to specific target groups and functional transfer of training-induced adaptations in muscle strength and motor control.
  • Be able to relate critically to the existing literature as well as assess and discuss experimental work and results in relation to the existing literature and methodologies.
  • Be able to place the focus areas of the course in relation to societal impact and to the possible implications and significance for the individual.

Original scientific literature supplemented by review articles. The course literature will be announced at study start on the course’s Absalon page.

B.Sc. degree in Sports Science, Physiology or another relevant bachelor's degree. Additionally, it is recommended to have completed the course Human Physiology.
The course requires professional competence equivalent to a completed BA degree.
The course will include lectures and experimental demonstrations incl. data processing as well as student presentations, group work and work with peer feedback.
  • Category
  • Hours
  • Lectures
  • 42
  • Preparation
  • 104
  • Exercises
  • 10
  • Laboratory
  • 10
  • Study Groups
  • 10
  • Exam
  • 30
  • Total
  • 206
Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)

Throughout the course, feedback from the lectures is included in relation to the presentation and discussion of articles, analyses, and discussion of empirical evidence. The students receive oral feedback on their presentations as well as feedback on their written work during the course. Both peer feedback and feedback from the lecturers is used here.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, 72 hours
Type of assessment details
A 72h written exam assignment, consisting of a case with questions and a self-selected research project synopsis, each counting 50% of the evaluation. The exam is individual and the handed in assignment must consist of a maximum of 15 standard pages (2400 characters per page including spaces). The 15 pages do not include the front page, table of contents and reference list. Content that exceeds the 15 pages will not be assessed
Exam registration requirements

The project description and research question for the exam project must be formulated in writing and approved prior to the exam.

All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Internal grading. More assessors.

Identical to ordinary exam. The project description and research question for the exam project must be formulated in writing two weeks prior to the re-exam and approved prior to the re-exam.

Criteria for exam assesment

Please see ”Learning Outcome”