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Alex Woodhead

PhD student

Alex Woodhead

About Research


Alex graduated from University Centre Farnborough with a First Class BSc (Hons) Degree in Sport Science Human Performance in 2018. He then completed an MSc in Applied Sport and Exercise Physiology at St. Mary’s University in 2019, graduating with a distinction.

Alex is now studying towards a PhD in Neuromuscular Physiology at St. Mary’s University. He also works as a Graduate Teaching Assistant in Exercise Physiology. Alex has gained applied experience in elite settings, working as a Sport Scientist in Professional Football.


Research profile

PhD Title: Investigating the Time-Course of Corticospinal and Spinal Adaptations to Motor Skill and Resistance Training.

Alex’s PhD research aims to understand how the human nervous system responds to different exercise paradigms, in particular motor skill and resistance training.

Using non-invasive brain stimulation techniques, such as transcranial magnetic and peripheral nerve stimulation, Alex’s focus is to investigate the segmental changes within the nervous system and their contribution to motor skill and resistance training.

Specifically, assessing the corticospinal and spinal adaptations helps to inform the design of optimal training regimes important for overall health and aging, clinical rehabilitation and athletic development.

His research interests include: Neurological responses to training, use-dependent neuroplasticity, motor learning, exercise performance and extreme environments, central and peripheral responses to fatigue.


  • Jamie Tallent
  • Jessica Hill
  • Colm Murphy 
  • Jamie North
  • Dawson Kidgell


  • Deeley, C, Tallent, J, Bennett, R, Woodhead, A, Goodall, S, Thomas, K, Howatson, G. ‘Etiology and recovery of neuromuscular function following academy soccer training’, Frontiers in Physiology
  • Tallent J, Woodhead A, Frazer K A, Hill J, Kidgell J D, Howatson G. 'Corticospinal and spinal adaptations to motor skill and resistance training: Potential mechanisms and implications for motor rehabilitation and athletic development', European Journal of Applied Physiology

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