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

J. C. Agre, L. E. Pierce, D. M. Raab, M. McAdams, E. L. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations

Abstract

Forty-seven elderly women (63 to 88 years of age, mean=71 years) were studied to determine the effect of a 25-week light resistance and aerobic exercise program upon arm and leg strength. Three groups were formed: nonexercising controls (C, n=12), exercise (EN, n=18) and exercise with light weights on the wrists and ankles (EW, n=17). Exercise was performed for one hour, three times/week. Subjects were pretested and posttested for maximal isokinetic muscle strength (angular velocity 60°/sec) for elbow flexion and extension, shoulder internal and external rotation, and knee flexion and extension. Dunn planned contrasts were used to compare C vs exercise groups combined (EN + EW) and EN vs EW. No significant differences were found among groups at baseline. EN + EW improved significantly (p<0.05) more than C in elbow extension (17%), shoulder internal rotation (14%), shoulder external rotation (9%), and knee flexion (20%). No significant differences were found between EN and EW. These data indicate that elderly women can achieve substantial gains in the strength of arm and leg musculature as a result of regular light resistance and aerobic exercise, but that the use of light weights on the wrists and ankles for added resistance did not enhance this effect.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)273-276
Number of pages4
JournalArchives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Volume69
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988

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