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Professor Joern  Rittweger

Professor in Human Physiology

Teaching Specialisms

  • Clinical Exercise Physiology; Space Physiology

Research Interests

  • - Bone biology in ageing and disuse - Gravitational physiology - Musculoskeletal adaptations to disuse - Master Athletes - Vibration Exercise

Professional Highlights

  • Principal Investigator in the long term (3-month) bed rest study in Toulouse (2001-2002) - Scientific co-ordinator of the (3-month) Berlin BedRest Study (2003-2004) - Chair of the Ethics committee of the Department of Exercise and Sport Science at Manchester Metropolitan University from 2005 to 2008 - Chair of the Faculty Ethics committee at Manchester Metropolitan University from 2007 to 2008

Recent External Roles

  • - Associate editor of the 'Journal for Musculoskeletal and Neuronal Interactions' since 2007 - Head of the division for Space physiology at the German Aerospace Centre (DLR) since 2009 - Professor at the University Cologne since 2010

Selected Publications

Cardinale, M., Rittweger, J.. Vibration exercise makes your muscles and bones stronger: fact or fiction? J Brit Menopause Soc 12(1), 12-18 (2006).

Stewart, C.., Rittweger, J.. Genetic influences on adaptive processes in skeletal muscle. J Musculoskel Neuron Interact 6(1), 73-86 (2006).

Blottner, D., Salanova, M., Püttmann, B., Schiffl, G., Felsenberg, D., Buehring, B., Rittweger, J.. Human skeletal muscle structure and function preserved by vibration muscle esercise following 55-days of bed rest. Eur J Appl Physiol 97(3), 261-271 (2006)

Berger, N.A., Rittweger, J., Kwiet, A., Michaelis, I., Williams, A.G., Tolfrey, K., Jones, A.M. Pulmonary O2 uptake On-Kinetics in Endurance- and Sprint-Trained Master Athletes. Int J Sports Med 27(12):1005-1012 (2006).

Rittweger, J., Belavy, D., Hunek.,P Gast,U., Boerst, B., Feilcke, B., Armbrecht, G., Mulder, E., Schubert, H., Richardson, C., de Haan, A., Stegeman, D.F., Schiessl, H., Felsenberg, D.. Highly demanding Resistive Vibration Exercise program is tolerated during 56 days of strict bed-rest. Int J Sports Medicine. 27(7), 553-559 (2006)

Rittweger, J.. Can exercise prevent osteoporosis? J Musculoskel Neuron Interact 6(2), 62-166 (2006).

Rittweger, J.. What is new in neuro-musculoskeletal interactions? J Musculoskel Neuron Interact 6(2), 191-194 (2006).

Mulder, E.R., Stegeman, D.F., Gerrits, K.H.L., Paalman, M.I., Rittweger, J., Felsenberg, D., de Haan, A. Strength, size and activation of knee extensors followed during 8 weeks of horizontal bed rest and the influence of a countermeasure. Eur J Appl Physiol 97(6), 706-715 (2006)

Rittweger, J., Gerrits, K.., Altenburg, T., Reeves, N., Maganaris, C.N., de Haan, A.. Bone adaptation to altered loading after spinal cord injury: A study of bone and muscle strength. J Musculoskel Neuron Interact 6(3) 269-276 (2006)

Rittweger, J., Winwood, K., Seynnes, O., de Boer, M., Wilks, D.C., Lea, R., Rennie, M.J. Narici, M.. Bone Loss from the Human Distal Tibia Epiphysis during 24 Days of Unilateral Lower Limb Suspension. J Physiol 577(1) 331-337 (2006)

Blottner, D., Püttmann, B., Salanova, M., Schiffl, G., Rittweger, J., Gunga, H.-C.., J., Felsenberg, D., Schoser, B.G.. Skeletal muscle deconditioning, Nitric Oxide (NO) biomarker, and exercise countermeasure - five years of bed rest studies. J Gravit Physiol 13(2) 49-58 (2006)

Belavy, D.L., Richardson, C.A., Wilson, S.J., Felsenberg, D., Rittweger, J.. Tonic to phasic shift of lumbo-pelvic muscle activity during 8-weeks of bed rest and 6-months follow-up, J Appl Physiol 103(1) 48-54 (2007), PMID: 17303707

Rittweger, J, Felsenberg, D., Maganaris, C., Ferretti, J.L.. Vertical jump performance after 90 days bed rest with and without flywheel resistive exercise, including a 180 days follow-up. Eur J Appl Physiol 100(4) 427-436 (2007)

Belavy, D.L., Richardson, C.A., Wilson, S.J., Rittweger, J., Felsenberg, D. Superficial lumbo-pelvic muscle overactivity and decreased cocontraction after 8 weeks of bed rest. Spine 32(1) E23-E29 (2007)

Mulder, E.R., Gerrits, K.H., Kleine, B.U., Rittweger, J., Felsenberg, D.F., de Haan, A., D., Stegeman. High-density surface EMG study on the time course of central nervous and peripheral neuromuscular changes during 8 weeks of bed rest with or without resistive vibration exercise. J Electromyogr Kines 19(2):208-18 (2009) PMID: 17560125

Hides, J.S., Belavy, D.L., Stanton, W., Wilson, S.J., Rittweger, J., Felsenberg, D., Richardson, C.A.. Magnetic Resonance Imaging assessment of trunk muscles during prolonged bed rest. Spine 32(15) 1687-1692 (2007)

Rittweger, J.. What is new in neuro-musculoskeletal interactions: Mechanotransduction, microdamage and repair J Musculoskel Neuron Interact 7(2), 191-193 (2007).

Mulder, E.R., Kuebler, W.M., Gerrits, K.H., Rittweger, J., Felsenberg, D., Stegeman, D.F., de Haan, A. Knee Extensor Fatigability after bed rest for 8 weeks with and without countermeasure. Muscle & Nerve 36(6) 798-806 (2007) PMID: 17661376, DOI 10.1002/mus.20870

Pavy-Le Traon, A., Heer, M., Narici, M.V., Rittweger, J., Vernikos, J. From Space to Earth: Advances in human physiology for twenty years of bed rest studies. Eur J Appl Phyiol 101(2) 143-194 (2007) PMID: 17661073

Rauch, F., Rittweger, J.. Recent literature review: New studies on bone material, fractures, walking and running. J Musculoskel Neuron Interact 7(4):368-371 (2007).

Salanova, M., Schiffl, G., Rittweger, J., Felsenberg, D. , Blottner, D.. Skeletal muscle activity modulates the ryanodine receptor type-1 (RyR1) via S-nitrolisation in human soleus myofibers. Histochem Cell Biol 130(1): 105-118 (2008) DOI 10.1007/s00418-008-0399-6 PMID 18283481

Michaelis, I., Kwiet, A., Gast, U., Boshof, A., Antvorskov, T., Jung, T., Rittweger, J., Felsenberg, D.. Decline of specific peak jumping power with age in master runners. J Musculoskelet Neuron Interact 8(1): 64-70 (2008)

Belavy, D.L., Hides, J.A., Wilson, S.J., Dimeo, F., Rittweger, J., Felsenberg, Richardson, C.A.. Resistive simulated weightbearing exercise with whole body vibration reduces lumbar spine deconditioning in bed-rest. Spine 33(5):E121-E131 (2008)

Mulder, E.R., Gerrits, K.H.L., Rittweger, J., Felsenberg, D, Stegeman, D.F., de Haan, A.. Characteristics of fast voluntary and electrically evoked isometric knee extensions during 56 days of bed rest with and without exercise countermeasure. Eur J Appl Physiol 103(4): 431-440 (2008) PMID: 18386049 DOI 10.1007/s00421-008-0724-8

Cochrane D.J., Stannard, S.R., Sargeant, A.J., Rittweger, J.. The rate of muscle temperature increase during acute whole-body vibration exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol 103(4): 441-448 (2008) DOI 10.1007/s00421-008-0736-4

Cochrane D.J., Sartor, F., Winwood, K., Stannard, S.R., Narici, M.V., Rittweger, J.. A comparison of the physiological effect of whole body vibration exercise in young and old people. Arch Phys Med Rehab 89(5):815-821 (2008)

Capozza, R.F., Cure-Cure,C., Cointry, G.R., Meta, M., Cure, P., Rittweger, J., Ferretti, J.L.. Association between low lean body mass and osteoporotic fractures after menopause. Menopause 15(5):905-913 (2008) PMID: 18520697.

Wüst, R.C.I., Morse, C.I., de Haan, A., Rittweger, J., Jones, D.A., Degens, H.. Skeletal muscle properties and fatigue resistance in healthy short- and long-term smokers. Eur J Appl Physiol 104(1): 103-110 (2008)

Garau, G., Rittweger, J., Mallarias, P., Longo, U.G., Maffulli, N.. Traumatic patellar tendinopathy. Disabil Rehabil 30(20-22):1616-20 (2008) PMID: 18608385

Rittweger, J.. Ten years muscle-bone hyopthesis

What have we learnt so far? J Musculoskelet Neuron Interact 8(2):174-178 (2008)

van Duijnhoven NT, Bleeker MW, de Groot PC, Thijssen DH, Felsenberg D, Rittweger J, Hopman MT.. The effect of bed rest and an exercise countermeasure on leg venous function. Eur J Appl Physiol 104(6):991-998 (2008) PMID: 18719936

Lippi, G, Banfi, G, Favaloro, E.J., Rittweger, J., Maffulli, N.. Updates on improvement of human athletic performance: focus on world records in athletics. Br Med Bull 87:7-15 (2008)

Rittweger, J., di Prampero, P.E., Maffulli, N., Narici, M.V.. Sprint and endurance power and ageing: An analysis of Master Athletic World records. Proc Biol Sci 276(1657):683-9 (2009) PMID: 18957366

Rittweger, J., Felsenberg, D.. Recovery of muscle atrophy and bone loss from 90 days bed rest: Results from the LTBR study. Bone 44(2):214-224 (2009) PMID: 19022418

Rittweger, J., Simunic, B., Bilancio, G., De Santo, N.G., Cirillo, M., Biolo, G., Pisot, R., Eiken, O., Mekjavic, I.G., Narici, M.. Bone loss in the lower leg during 35 days of bed rest is predominantly from the cortical compartment. Bone (2009) 44(4): 612-618 PMID 19168165 doi:10.1016/j.bone.2009.01.001

Wilks, D.C., Gilliver, S.F., Rittweger, J.. Forearm and Tibia Bone Strength in Distance and Sprint-trained Master Cyclists. Med Sci Sport Exerc 41(3):566-73 (2009) PMID: 19204595

Reeves, N.D., Maganaris, C.N., Maffulli, N., Rittweger, J.. Human Patellar tendon stiffness is restored following graft harvest for anterior cruciate ligament surgery. J Biomech 42(7):797-803 (2009) PMID: 19268289

Longo, U.G., Rittweger, J., Garau, G., Radonic, B., Gutwassser, C., Gilliver, S.F., Kusy, K., Zielinski, J., Felsenberg, D., Maffulli, N.. No influence of age, gender, weight, height and impact profile in Achilles tendinopahty in master track and field athletes. Am J Sports Med 37(7):1400-5 (2009) PMID: 19329789

Wilks, D.C., Winwood, K., Gilliver, S.F., Michaelis, I., Kwiet, A., Sun, L.W., Ferretti, J.L., Sargeant, A.J., Felsenberg, D., Rittweger, J.. Bone mass and geometry of the tibia and the radius of Master sprinters, middle and long distance runners, race-walkers, and sedentary control participants: A pQCT study. Bone 45:91-97 (2009) PMID: 19332164

Belavy, D.L., Ng, J.K., Wilson, S.J., Armbrecht, G., Stegeman, D., Rittweger, J., Felsenberg, D.. Influence of prolonged bed-rest on spectral and temporal electromyographic motor control characteristics in the superficial lumbo-pelvic musculature. J Electromyogr Kines 20(1):170-179 (2010) PMID: 19395271

Armbrecht, G., Belavy, D.L., Gast, U., Bongrazio, M., Touby, F., Beller, G., Roth, H.J., Perschel, F.H., Rittweger, J., Felsenberg, D.. Resistive vibration exercise attenuates bone and muscle atrophy in 56-days of bed-rest: whole body DXA and biochemical markers of bone metabolism. Osteoporos Internat 21(4):597-607 (2010) PMID: 19536451

Cochrane, D.J., Loram, I.D., Stannard, S.R., Rittweger, J.. Changes in joint angle, muscle-tendon complex length, muscle contractile tissue displacement and modulation of EMG activity during acute whole-body vibration. Muscle and Nerve 40(3):420-9 (2009) PMID: 19618430

Gilliver, S.F., Degens, H., Rittweger, J., Sargeant, A.J., Jones, D.A.. Variation in the determinants of power in skinned human muscle fibres. Exp Physiol 94(10):1070-1078 (2009) PMID: 19638363

Belavy, D.L., Miokovic, T., Armbrecht, Richardson, C., W., Rittweger, J., Felsenberg, D.. Differential atrophy of the lower-limb musculature during prolonged bed-rest. Eur J Appl Physiol 107(4):1070-1078 (2009) PMID: 19680682

Mendis, M.D., Hides, J., Wilson, S., Grimaldi, A., Belavy, D., Stanton, W., Felsenberg, D., Rittweger, J., Richardson, C.. Effect of prolonged bed rest on the anterior hip muscles. Gait & Posture 30(4):533-537 (2009) PMID: 19726188

Rittweger, J., Beller, G., Armbrecht, G., Mulder, E., Buehring, B., Gast, U., Dimeo, F., Schubert, H., de Haan, A., Stegeman, D.F., Schiessl, H., Felsenberg, D.. Prevention of bone loss during 56 days of strict bed rest by side-alternating resistive vibration exercise. Bone 46(1):137-147 (2010) Doi:10.1016/j.bone.2009.08.051

Cochrane, D.J., Stannard, S.R., Firth, E.C., Rittweger, J.. Acute WBV demonstrates postactivation potentiation. Eur J Appl Physiol 108(2):311-319 (2010) PMID: 19795130

Wilks, D.C., Winwood, K., Gilliver, S.F., Kwiet, A., Sun, L.W., Gutwasser, C., Ferretti, J.L., Sargeant, A.J., Felsenberg, D., Rittweger, J.. Age-dependency of bone mass and geometry: A cross sectional pQCT study on male and female Master sprinters, middle distance runners, long distance runners, race-walkers, and sedentary people. J Musculoskel Neuron Interact 9(4):236-246 (2009)

Belavy, D.L., Miokovic, T., Armbrecht, G., Richardson, C., W., Rittweger, J., Felsenberg, D.. Resistive vibration exercise reduced lower limb atrophy during 56-day bed-rest. J Musculoskel Neuron Interact 9(4):225-235 (2009)

Rittweger, J.. Vibration as an exercise modality: How it may work, and what its potential might be. Eur J Appl Physiol 108(5):877-904 (2010) DOI: 10.1007/s00421-009-1303-3, PMID: 20012646

Capozza, R., Feldman, S., Mortarino, P., Reina, P., Schiessl, H., Rittweger, J., Ferretti J.L., Cointry, G.. Structural analysis of the human tibia by tomographic (pQCT) serial scans. J Anat 216:470.481 (2010)

Rittweger, J., Gilliver, S.F., Wilks, D.C.. Response. Med Sci Sport Exerc 41(10):1976 (2009) DOI:10.1249/MSS.ob013e318af2779

Nowak, A., Straburzynska-Lupa, A., Kusy, K., Zielinskie, J., Felsenberg, D., Rittweger, J., Karolkiewicz , J., Straburzyńska-Migaj, E., Pilaczyńska-Szcześniak, Ł. Bone mineral density and bone turnover in male master track and field athletes aged 40-5. Aging Male 13(2):133-141 (2010) PMID: 20210695

Wüst, R.C.I., Winwood, K., Wilks, D.C., Morse, C.I., Degens, H. Rittweger, J.. Effects of smoking on tibial and radial bone mass and strength may diminish with age. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 95 (6): 2763-2771 (2010) PMID: 20375208

Seynnes, O., Ritttweger, J.. What is new in musculoskeletal interactions - lateral force transmission, botox, calcium and bone strength, and osteocyte apoptosis. J Musculoskel Neuron Interact 10(2):124-127 (2010)

Rittweger, J., Moss, A.D., Colier, W., Stewart, C.E., Degens, H.. Muscle tissue oxygenation and VEGF in VO2-matched vibration and squatting exercise. Clin Physiol Funct Imaging 30(4):269-278 (2010) doi: 10.1111/j.1475-097X.2010.00937.x, PMID: 20497445

Cochrane, D.J., Stannard, S.R., Firth, E.C., Rittweger, J.. Comparing muscle temperature during static and dynamic squatting with and without whole-body vibration Clin Physiol Funct Imaging 30(4):223-229 (2010) PMID: 20491843

Rittweger, J., Goosey-Tolfrey, V.L., Cointry, G.., Ferretti J.L., Structural analysis of the human tibia in men with spinal cord injury by tomographic (pQCT) serial scans. Bone 47:511-518 (2010) PMID: 20561989

Belavy, D.L., Bock, O., Börst, H., Armbrecht, G., Gast, U., Degner, C., Beller, G., Soll, H., Salanova, M., Habazettl, H., Heer, M., de Haan, A., Stegeman, D.F, Cerretelli, P., Blottner, D., Rittweger, J., Gelfi, C., Kornak, U., Felsenberg, D.. The 2nd Berlin BedRest study: protocol and implementation. J Musculoskel Neuron Interact 10(3):207-219 (2010) PMID: 20811145

Rauch, F., Sievänen, H., Boonen, S., Cardinale, M., Degens, H., Felsenberg, D., Roth, J., Schoenau, E., Verschueren, S., Rittweger, J.. Reporting whole-body vibration intervention studies: Recommendations of the International Society of Musculoskeletal and Neuronal Interactions. J Musculoskel Neuron Interact 10(3): 193-198 (2010) PMID: 20811143

Moriggi, M., Vasso, M., Fania, C., Capitanio, D., Bonifacio, G., Salanova, M., Blottner, D., Rittweger, J., Felsenberg, D., Cerretelli, P., Gelfi, C.. Long term bed rest with and without vibration exercise countermeasures: Effects on human muscle protein dysregulation. Proteomics 10:3756-3774 (2010) PMID: 20957755

Belavy, D.L., Miokovic,T., Rittweger, J., Felsenberg, D.. Estimation of changes in volume of individual lower-limb muscles using magnetic resonance imaging. Physiol Meas 32:35-50 (2011) doi:10.1088/0967-3334/32/1/003

Degens, H., Rittweger, J.. What is new in musculoskeletal interactions? Muscle oxygenation, myonuclear domain, acupuncture, titin and phosphate. J Musculoskel Neuron Interact 10(4):267-273 (2010)

Gilliver, S.F., Jones, D.A., Rittweger, J., Degens, H.. Effects of oxidation in the power of chemically skinned rat soleus fibres. J Musculoskelet Neuron Interact 10(4):245-248 (2010)

Rittweger, J., Reeves, N.D., Narici, M., Belavy, D.L., Maganaris, C.N., Maffulli, N.. Persisting side-to-side differences in bone mineral bone mineral content, but not in muscle strength and tendon stiffness after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. In press in Clin Physiol Funct Imaging 31:73-79 (2011) PMID: 21040404

Agostini, F., Dalla Libera, L., Rittweger, J., Mazzucco, S., Jurdana, M., Mekjavic, I., Pisot, R., Gorza, L., Narici, M., Biolo, G.. Effects of incactivity on human muscle glutathione synthesis by a double-tracer and single-biopsy approach. J Physiol 588(24):5089-5104 (2010) PMID: 20962001

Arampatzis, A., Degens, H. Baltzopoulos, V., Rittweger, J.. Why do older sprinters reach the finish linelater? In Press in Exerc Sport Sci Rev 39(1):18-22 (2011) PMID: 21088606

Gilliver, S.F., Degens, H., Rittweger, J., Jones, D.A.. Effects of submaximal activation on the determinants of power of chemically skinned rat soleus fibres Exp Physiol 96(2):171-178 (2011) PMID: 20889604

Longo, U.G., Rittweger, J., Garau, G., Radonic, B., Gutwasser, C, Gilliver, S.F., Kusy, K., Zielinksi, J., Felsenberg, D., Maffulli, N.. Patellar tendinopathy in master track and field athletes: influence of impact profile, weight, height, age and gender. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc 19:508-512 (2011) PMID: 21057939

Soucek, O., Lebl, J., Snajderova, M., Kolouskova, S., Rocek, M., Hlavka, Z., Cinek, O., Ritttweger, J., Sumnik, Z Bone geometry and volumetric bone mineral density in girls with Turner syndrome of different pubertal stages. Clin Endocrinol 74(4):445-452 (2011) doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2265.2010.03955.x

Yang P.F., Brüggemann, G.P., Rittweger, J.. What do we currently know from in vivo bone strain measurements in humans? J Musculoskelet Neuron Interact 11(1):8-20 (2011) PMID: 21364270

Salles, A.S., Baltzopoulos, V., Rittweger, J.. Differential effects of countermovment magnitude and volitional effort on vertical jumping. Eur J Appl Physiol 111(3): 441-448 (2011) PMID: 20882293

Gilliver, S.F., Degens, H., Rittweger, J., Jones, D.A.. Variation in the determinants of power of chemically skinned type I rat soleus muscle fibres. J Comp Physiol A 197:311-319 (2011) PMID: 21120505

Testerink, J., Degens, H., Ritttweger, J., Shiraishi, A., Jaspers, R.T., de Haan. A.. Effects of alfacalcidol on the contractile properties of the gastrocnemius medialis muscle in adult and old rats. J Physiol Pharmacol 62(1): 111-118 (2011)



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