Send to

Choose Destination
Dev Med Child Neurol. 2013 Sep;55(9):806-12. doi: 10.1111/dmcn.12190. Epub 2013 Jun 22.

Progressive resistance training and mobility-related function in young people with cerebral palsy: a randomized controlled trial.

Author information

Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Vic., Australia.



The aim of this study was to investigate whether individualized resistance training improves the physical mobility of young people with cerebral palsy (CP).


Forty-eight participants with spastic diplegic CP (26 males, 22 females; mean age 18y 1mo, SD 1y 11mo) classified as level II or III on the Gross Motor Function Classification System were allocated randomly to progressive resistance training or usual-care control. Resistance training was completed twice weekly for 12 weeks at a community gymnasium under the supervision of a physiotherapist. Exercises were based on instrumented gait analysis and targeted muscles contributing to walking difficulties. Outcomes at 12 weeks and 24 weeks included objective measures of mobility (6-min walk test, instrumented gait analysis, and Gross Motor Function Measure dimensions D and E), participant-rated measures of mobility (Functional Mobility Scale and Functional Assessment Questionnaire), and muscle performance.


The strength of targeted muscles increased by 27% (95% CI 8-46%) compared with control group. There were no between-group differences in any objective measure of mobility at 12 weeks (6-min walk test: mean difference 0.1m; 95% CI -21 to 21m) or at 24 weeks. Participant-rated mobility improved (Functional Mobility Scale at 5m: mean 0.6 units; 95% CI 0.1-1.1 units; Functional Assessment Questionnaire: 0.8 units; 95% CI 0.1-1.6 units) compared with control group at 12 weeks.


Individualized progressive resistance training increased strength in adolescents and young adults with spastic diplegic CP. Despite participant-rated benefits, the increased strength did not result in objective improvements in mobility.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wiley
Loading ...
Support Center