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J Women Aging. 1999;11(4):75-85.

Sarcopenia and decreased muscle strength in the elderly woman: resistance training as a safe and effective intervention.

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Department of Exercise Science and Physical Education, Arizona State University, Tempe 85287-0701, USA.


A principle component of age-related weakness and frailty in women is sarcopenia. This decrease in skeletal muscle mass is a progressive syndrome that will affect the quality of life for elderly women by decreasing the ability to perform many activities of daily living. Strength training is known to be an effective means of increasing muscular strength and size in many populations, and can be utilized successfully to significantly improve muscle strength, muscle mass and functional mobility in elderly women up to the age of 96 years. Such exercise can minimize the syndrome of physical frailty due to decreased muscle mass and strength. Any rehabilitation or exercise program for the elderly woman would benefit from the inclusion of such a training regime.

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