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Medicina dello Sport 2019 December;72(4):628-41

DOI: 10.23736/S0025-7826.19.03525-7


language: English, Italian

Assessing the impact of strength training in the functional fitness of the elderly

Rogério SALVADOR 1, 2 , Roberta FRONTINI 3, 4

1 School of Education and Social Sciences, Polytechnic of Leiria, Leiria, Portugal; 2 Centro de Investigação FCT CIEQV (Centro de Investigação em Qualidade de Vida), Santarém, Portugal; 3 Center for Innovative Care and Health Technology (ciTechCare), Leiria, Portugal; 4 School of Health, Polytechnic of Leiria, Leiria, Portugal


BACKGROUND: The health benefits of resistance training have been vastly valued in opposition to strength training. Nonetheless, literature has consistently acknowledged the clinical and functional benefits of strength training. The main aim of this study was to better understand the impact of the inclusion of a strength training on the functional aptitude of elderly participants.
METHODS: This observational research recruited the sample at a local wellness center. Participants were part of two different groups: a Control Group and a Strength Training Group. Both groups were assessed in the beginning and at the end of the school year. A validated adaptation of The Senior Fitness Test was used. Height, weight, Body Mass Index, and body fat mass were also calculated.
RESULTS: Regarding the differences from Time 1 to Time 2, the Strength Training Group obtained a statistically significant result on the chair stand and the Body Mass Index, with a large and a moderate effect respectively. The Control Group had a statistically significant result on the chair sit-and-reach, the two-minute step test and the percentage of body fat mass.
CONCLUSIONS: The results seem to suggest that the two training methodologies may be effective in improving the functionality of the elderly. Strength training revealed potential contributions in the improvement of some of the results, such as flexibility of the upper limbs or even strength of the lower limbs.

KEY WORDS: Muscle strength; Resistance training; Physical fitness; Aged

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