PoliTo Sport - Neuromuscular adaptations and assessment in sport Erasmus+ BIP

Sport coaches and athletes constantly strive for improved performance, as much as rehabilitation scientists are committed with helping patients in regaining their motor function.  Excelling in sports and succeeding in a rehabilitation program request motivation, discipline, and training hard.  As training progresses, adaptations take place at different levels, including neuroanatomical changes of single motor units, muscle hypertrophy, corticomuscular plasticity, and how we perceive effort.  These training adaptions maximize motor performance while minimizing the liability to injuries.  Understanding the changes the neural and the muscular systems go through with training, as well as how to use innovative techniques to assess them, is pivotal for any successful intervention.  This multidisciplinary problem is tackled here by a team of experts, focusing their lecture on the building blocks of knowledge regarding training adaptations and assessment techniques.


Partner Universities

  • Politecnico di Torino, Italy (coordinator)
  • University of Jyvaskyla, Finland
  • Hungarian University of Sports Science, Hungary
  • Polytechnic Institute of Guarda, Portugal
  • University of Sevilla, Spain
  • University of Tel Aviv, Israel
  • University of Birmingham, UK
  • Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Spain


Dates and location

  • Virtual part: July 1st, 2024 (10 hours  - online meetings + offline work)
  • On-site activities: Politecnico di Torino, Italy, July 8-12, 2024


General information

The BIP is open to Master and PhD students in Biomedical Engineering and Health Sciences.

Online, classroom and practical activities will be held in English.

Students completing the program will achieve 3 ECTS.


How to apply

Politecnico di Torino students

MSc and PhD students in Biomedical Engineering are eligible to participate in the program.
Please complete the application form available at
https://forms.gle/cvVBbw2msUHoRwqr7 by May 19th, 2024.
A Curriculum Vitae and Studiorum (i.e. including exams passed and grades) must be attached to the form.
A maximum of 15 students will be selected, based on the following criteria:

  • Master degree (15 pt)
  • Master's degree final grade or average grade of the exams (max 10 pt)
  • Other qualifications pertinent with the current Erasmus program (max 5 pt)
  • Pertinence of the study plan with the content of the BIP program (max 15 pt)
  • Pertinence of ongoing thesis or projects and scientific publications with the content of the current Erasmus program (max 15 pt)


University of Jyvaskyla, Hungarian University of Sports Science, Polytechnic Institute of Guarda, University of Sevilla, University of Tel Aviv, University of Birmingham, Universidad Pablo de Olavide students

Please contact the International Mobility/Erasmus+ office of your university.



The PoliTo Sport BIP will provide participants with basic and technical knowledge necessary for understanding and assessing the mechanisms at the basis of training adaptations. 

Key topics that will be dealt with during the course are:

  • Muscle and mental fatigue
  • Neural and muscular adaptations to motor training, in young and aged individuals
  • Instruments for collecting biomechanical and physiological data, from motion capture to high-density surface electromyography
  • Methods for data processing and information extraction.



These goals will be achieved through challenges specifically devised to address problems of relevance in the field.  Students will be requested to use the knowledge gained during the course to address these issues.  Transfer and assessment of knowledge will be ensured by the use of innovative teaching strategies, among which the active learning and the peer-assisted learning.

Classroom teaching will be employed during morning sessions, while afternoon sessions will be characterized by active teaching.  Table 1 outlines the general structure of the course, followed by a detailed description of the afternoon sessions.


Expected outcomes

Upon completion of the course students will have got acquainted with:

  • how the neuromuscular system responds to training
  • innovative approaches for the prescription of resistance training
  • techniques for assessing central and peripheral adaptations of the neuromuscular system.
  • the detection of biological signals, including the high-density surface electromyograms
  • the use of smartphones for collecting data of physiological interest in sport and physical activity
  • how to process data using advanced signal processing techniques.



  • Taian Martins, Alberto Botter (organizers), Laura Gastaldi, Politecnico di Torino
  • Harri Piitulainen, University of Jyvaskyla
  • András Hegyi, Annamária Péter, Hungarian University of Sports Science
  • Carolina Vila-Chã, Polytechnic Institute of Guarda
  • Beatriz Isabel Bachero Mena, University of Sevilla
  • Israel Halperin, University of Tel Aviv
  • Alessio Gallina, University of Birmigham

Program of the activities

Online activity: Prior to starting the course (10 hours)

Research articles will be distributed to students at least two weeks prior to starting the course.  These articles will be focused on applied research, dealing with issues of interest in sport science and rehabilitation.  Proposed arguments are: peripheral fatigue, posture control, aerobic capacity, mobility.  Students will be divided into groups and each group will be tasked with reading the pre-selected articles about a specific theme and presenting their thoughts during the week preceding the course: specific instructions will be provided to ensure key points are touched during the presentation.

Course activities: learning, experiencing, socializing (34 hours of teaching)

BIP 2024 PoliTo Sport program

Detailed description of afternoon sessions

1.2 – Technology enhanced learning: Tutorial: the use of smartphone to assess neuromuscular metrics of interest in rehabilitation and sport science.

Students will be taught how to use their smartphones and our EMG system to collect variables of applied interest.  Working principle and technical issues will be dealt with during the tutorial, while ensuring there will be sufficient time for the students to leave the classroom with the skills necessary to collect data.  Only variables related to the applications we select for the ONLINE ACTIVITY will be considered in the tutorial.

2.2 – Peer-assisted learning: Planning of experiments: from the definition of the experimental protocol to the test of hypothesis.

Each group will be asked to design an experimental protocol for assessing the neuromuscular adaptation associated with the application assigned to them during the ONLINE ACTIVITY.  Groups will be welcome to work on applications different from those pre-selected.  With the guidance of peers-experienced students-course students will produce a report outlining their question, hypothesis, and how they will approach the question. This latter point requires identifying proper instruments, dependent variables, and controlling for confounders.

3.3 – Discovery education experience: Data collection: necessary for testing the group hypothesis.  Students will learn while exploring the data during the collection process.

Using their own smartphone or the system for the acquisition of surface electromyograms, students will collect the data necessary for testing their hypothesis.  In doing so, technical issues will likely emerge, highlighting the care necessary to ensure the data collected meets the highest standards.  While real-time inspecting the raw data, the lecturer will deepen some of the concepts addressed during the classroom teaching.

4.3 – Interdisciplinary learning: Students with different backgrounds will work together to extract information from the collected data.

Testing for the group hypothesis requires analyzing the raw data properly.  Knowledge on the physiological phenomenon under study and on techniques for signal processing is critically important here: this is when the background matured by the health science and the biomedical engineering students attending the course and integrating each group will attest the importance of interdisciplinarity.

5.3 – Active learning: Groups present and critically discuss their findings to classmates and lecturers.

Groups will be asked to prepare a brief presentation summarizing their findings, showing and critically discussing factual results.  Lecturers as well as students from other groups will interrogate each presenting group about how appropriate the proposed protocol is for assessing the neuromuscular adaption subject of study.


Erasmus+ - Co-funded bu EU logo

Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Education and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA). Neither the European Union nor EACEA can be held responsible for them.