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Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2012 May;91(5):393-400. doi: 10.1097/PHM.0b013e31824ad5b8.

Maximal strength training enhances strength and functional performance in chronic stroke survivors.

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  • 1Department of Circulation and Medical Imaging, Faculty of Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway.



This study aimed to demonstrate that maximal strength training improves muscle strength and to assess the effect of training on function, aerobic status, and quality-of-life among chronic stroke survivors.


Ten patients acted as their own controls for 4 wks, before an 8-week training intervention. Patients trained 3 days/wk, with four sets of four repetitions at 85%-95% one repetition maximum in unilateral leg press and plantarflexion with an emphasis on maximal mobilization of force in the concentric phase.


After training, leg press strength improved by 30.6 kg (75%) and 17.8 kg (86%); plantarflexion strength improved by 35.5 kg (89%) and 28.5 kg (223%) for the unaffected and affected limbs, respectively, significantly different from the control period (all P < 0.01). The 6-min walk test improved by 13.9 m (within training period; P = 0.01), and the Timed Up and Go test time improved by 0.6 secs (within training period; P < 0.05). There were no significant changes in walking economy, peak aerobic capacity, Four-Square Step Test, or health-related quality-of-life after training.


Maximal strength training improved muscle strength in the most affected as well as in the nonaffected leg and improved Timed-Up-And-Go time and 6-min walk distance but did not alter Four-Step Square Test time, aerobic status, or quality-of-life among chronic stroke survivors.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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