Light resistance and stretching exercise in elderly women: Effect upon flexibility

D. M. Raab, J. C. Agre, M. McAdam, E. L. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Scopus citations

Abstract

Decreased range of motion (ROM) due to disuse limits the older adult's ability to perform daily activities. The flexibility of five joints of 46 women (aged 65 to 89 years) was measured by goniometer before and after a 25-week exercise program. Three groups were formed: a control group who did no exercise (C) (n=13), a group who exercised with light weights (EW) (n=17), and a group who exercised with no weights (EN) (n=16). Subjects who exercised (EN and EW) gained significantly greater ROM in ankle plantar flexion, shoulder flexion, shoulder abduction, and left neck rotation than C subjects. No significant differences were found between groups in hip flexion, right neck rotation, wrist flexion or extension, or ankle dorsiflexion. The only difference between exercise treatments was that the EN group gained significantly more ROM in shoulder abduction than the EW. The use of arm weights may have limited shoulder ROM during exercise, resulting in less improvement for shoulder abduction. Comparison with data from other studies suggests age-related loss in flexibility at the shoulder joint. Exercise generally increased shoulder ROM and may be capable of reversing loss in flexibility due to disuse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)268-272
Number of pages5
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Volume69
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988

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