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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: Corticospinal and Spinal Responses Following Motor Skill and Resistance Training.

Alex’s PhD research aims to understand how the human nervous system responds to different exercise paradigms, namely motor skill and resistance training. Using non-invasive brain stimulation techniques, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation and peripheral nerve stimulation, Alex’s focus is to segmentalise changes within the nervous system and assess their contribution to motor skill and resistance training. 

Specifically assessing the corticospinal and spinal responses helps to inform the design and implementation of rehabilitation and neurorehabilitation programmes, of which skill and strength are integral components. 

His additional research interests include: Neuromuscular 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


  • Woodhead A, North S J, Hill J, Murphy P C, Kidgell J D, Tallent J. (2023) ‘Corticospinal and spinal adaptations following lower limb motor skill training: A meta-analysis with best evidence synthesis’, Experimental Brain Research.

  • Deeley, C, Tallent, J, Bennett, R, Woodhead, A, Goodall, S, Thomas, K, Howatson, G. (2022) ‘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. (2021) '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.


  •  12th International Conference for Strength Training (2023) – University of Jyväskyla ‘Corticospinal and spinal responses following a single session of lower limb motor skill and resistance training’ (Oral Presentation).

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