Effects of attentional focus on muscular endurance: a meta-analysis

Grgic, Jozo ORCID: 0000-0002-6929-2844 and Mikulic, Pavle ORCID: 0000-0003-1244-631X (2022) Effects of attentional focus on muscular endurance: a meta-analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19 (1). ISSN 1661-7827


Several studies explored the effects of attentional focus on resistance exercise, but their analysed outcomes most commonly involved surface electromyography variables. Therefore, the effects of attentional focus on resistance exercise performance remain unclear. The aim of this review was to perform a meta-analysis examining the acute effects of external focus vs. internal focus vs. control on muscular endurance. Five databases were searched to find relevant studies. The data were pooled in a random-effects meta-analysis. In the analysis for external vs. internal focus of at-tention, there were seven comparisons with 14 study groups. In the analyses for external focus vs. control and internal focus vs. control, there were six comparisons with 12 study groups. An external focus of attention enhanced muscular endurance when compared with an internal focus (Cohen’s d: 0.58; 95% confidence interval (CI): 0.34 and 0.82) and control (Cohen’s d: 0.42; 95% CI: 0.08 and 0.76). In the analysis for internal focus vs. control, there was no significant difference between the conditions (Cohen’s d: –0.19; 95% CI: –0.45 and 0.07). Generally, these results remained consistent in the subgroup analyses for upper-body vs. lower-body exercises. From a practical perspective, the results presented in this review suggest that individuals should use an external focus of attention for acute enhancement of muscular endurance.

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Item type Article
URI https://vuir.vu.edu.au/id/eprint/43245
DOI 10.3390/ijerph19010089
Official URL https://www.mdpi.com/1660-4601/19/1/89
Subjects Current > FOR (2020) Classification > 4207 Sports science and exercise
Current > Division/Research > Institute for Health and Sport
Current > Division/Research > College of Sports and Exercise Science
Keywords Motor learning, resistance training, strength endurance
Citations in Scopus 5 - View on Scopus
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