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PLoS One. 2014 Oct 13;9(10):e110350. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0110350. eCollection 2014.

A behavioral mechanism of how increases in leg strength improve old adults' gait speed.

Author information

1
Faculty of Human Sciences, Waseda University, Tokorozawa, Japan.
2
Graduate School of Human Sciences, Waseda University, Tokorozawa, Japan.
3
Advanced Research Center for Human Sciences, Waseda University, Tokorozawa, Japan.
4
Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, The University of Tokyo, Meguro-ku, Japan.
5
School of Human Sciences, Waseda University, Tokorozawa, Japan.
6
University Medical Center Groningen, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands; Department of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation, Northumbria University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, United Kingdom.

Abstract

We examined a behavioral mechanism of how increases in leg strength improve healthy old adults' gait speed. Leg press strength training improved maximal leg press load 40% (p = 0.001) and isometric strength in 5 group of leg muscles 32% (p = 0.001) in a randomly allocated intervention group of healthy old adults (age 74, n = 15) but not in no-exercise control group (age 74, n = 8). Gait speed increased similarly in the training (9.9%) and control (8.6%) groups (time main effect, p = 0.001). However, in the training group only, in line with the concept of biomechanical plasticity of aging gait, hip extensors and ankle plantarflexors became the only significant predictors of self-selected and maximal gait speed. The study provides the first behavioral evidence regarding a mechanism of how increases in leg strength improve healthy old adults' gait speed.

PMID:
25310220
PMCID:
PMC4195722
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0110350
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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