Isokinetic eccentric exercise substantially improves mobility, muscle strength and size, but not postural sway metrics in older adults, with limited regression observed following a detraining period

Anthony Kay, Anthony Blazevich, Millie Fraser, Lucy Ashmore, Mathew Hill

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Abstract

Introduction: Eccentric exercise can reverse age-related decreases in muscle strength and mass; however, no data exist describing its effects on postural sway. As the ankle may be more important for postural sway than hip and knee joints, and with older adults prone to periods of inactivity, the effects of two 6-week seated isokinetic eccentric exercise programmes, and an 8-week detraining period, were examined in 27 older adults (67.1 ± 6.0 years). Methods: Neuromuscular parameters were measured before and after training and detraining periods with subjects assigned to ECC (twice-weekly eccentric-only hip and knee extensor contractions) or ECC PF (identical training with additional eccentric-only plantarflexor contractions) training programmes. Results: Significant (P < 0.05) increases in mobility (decreased timed-up-and-go time [− 7.7 to − 12.0%]), eccentric strength (39.4–58.8%) and vastus lateralis thickness (9.8–9.9%) occurred after both training programmes, with low-to-moderate weekly rate of perceived exertion (3.3–4.5/10) reported. No significant change in any postural sway metric occurred after either training programme. After 8 weeks of detraining, mobility (− 8.2 to − 11.3%), eccentric strength (30.5–50.4%) and vastus lateralis thickness (6.1–7.1%) remained significantly greater than baseline in both groups. Conclusion: Despite improvements in functional mobility, muscle strength and size, lower-limb eccentric training targeting hip, knee and ankle extensor muscle groups was not sufficient to influence static balance. Nonetheless, as the beneficial functional and structural adaptations were largely maintained through an 8-week detraining period, these findings have important implications for clinical exercise prescription as the exercise modality, low perceived training intensity, and adaptive profile are well suited to the needs of older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)(In-press)
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Volume(In-press)
Early online date9 Aug 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Aug 2020

Bibliographical note

Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

Keywords

  • Resistance training
  • Ageing
  • Functional decline
  • Posturography
  • Sarcopenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology (medical)
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

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