IMR Press / JOMH / Volume 18 / Issue 3 / DOI: 10.31083/j.jomh1803069
Open Access Original Research
Examining the effect of transcranial direct current stimulation on the dominant motor cortex in the indirect measurement of physical ability
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1 Department of Sports Science, Seoul National University of Science and Technology, 01794 Seoul, Republic of Korea
2 Department of Sports Science, Korean Institute of Sports Science, 01794 Seoul, Republic of Korea
J. Mens. Health 2022, 18(3), 69;
Submitted: 14 October 2021 | Accepted: 3 December 2021 | Published: 2 March 2022
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports and physical activities for men’s health)
Copyright: © 2022 The Author(s). Published by IMR Press.
This is an open access article under the CC BY 4.0 license.

Background: The effects of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) on specific sports skills have received extensive attention, however, it is difficult to accurately determine its effect on physical performance due to the complexity of the tasks. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of uni-hemispheric anodal tDCS of the motor cortex (M1) on the indirect measurement of physical ability in healthy men. Methods: Thirteen healthy, right-leg-dominant men aged between 21 and 32 years (26.53 ± 2.73 years) participated in two different experimental conditions in a randomized, single-blinded crossover design: anodal stimulation (a-tDCS) and sham-tDCS (2 mA for 20 minutes targeting the left M1 contralateral to dominant leg). Before and immediately after the tDCS stimulation, participants completed the standing long jump (SLJ) and sidestep test (SST), and their blood pressure and heart rate were checked for the safety of tDCS application. Results: No significant difference was observed between a-tDCS and sham-tDCS (F(1,24) = 0.02, p = 0.86, ηp2 = 0.001) on SLJ. Also, no significant changes in SLJ were observed between pre- and post-stimulation sessions for both conditions (F(1,24) = 1.18, p = 0.28, ηp2 = 0.047). Similarly, SST scores were not significantly different from a-tDCS and sham-tDCS condition (F(1,24) = 0.57, p = 0.45, ηp2 = 0.024). Significant changes in SST were not observed throughout the experiment sessions for both stimulation conditions (F(1,24) = 0.12, p = 0.73, ηp2 = 0.005). Conclusions: The uni-hemispheric a-tDCS applied over the M1 for 20 minutes may not be a valuable tool to obtain the physical performance benefits from the tasks that require bilateral lower limb power output, such as SLJ and SST.

Physical performance
Primary motor cortex (M1)
Fig. 1.
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