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Original articles  AGEING 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2004 March;44(1):87-91

Copyright © 2009 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Neuromuscular effects of three training methods in ageing women

Paillard T. 1, 2, Lafont C. 2, Soulat J. M. 3, Costes-Salon M. C. 2, Mario B. 1, Montoya R. 1, Dupui P. 1

1 Department of Physiology, School of Medicine Rangueil University Hospital, Toulouse, France 2 Department of Gerontology and Internal Medicine Purpan University Hospital, Toulouse, France 3 Department of Work Pathology, Purpan University Hospital, Toulouse, France


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Aim. The ­present ­study ­aimed to com­pare the ­effects of 3 ­strength devel­op­ment meth­ods on mus­cu­lar ­mass and mus­cu­lar ­strength in ­healthy age­ing wom­en.
Methods. Thirty-two ­healthy wom­en, 62 to 75 ­years old ­were ran­dom­ised ­into 3 ­groups. The 3 ­groups per­formed 4 ses­sions a ­week of ­strength devel­op­ment for 6 ­weeks. The 1st ­group (SC) ­climbed up and ­down 300 ­stairs per ses­sion. The 2nd ­group (ES) fol­lowed an elec­tro­stim­u­la­tion pro­gramme on the quad­ri­ceps mus­cles. The 3rd ­group (SC+ES) com­bined ­stair climb­ing ­with elec­tro­stim­u­la­tion. Before and ­after the 3 pro­grammes, the mus­cu­lar ­mass of the leg was ­assessed ­using a bipho­to­nic absorp­tiom­e­try ­machine. Isometric (­angle 20° and 100°) and iso­ki­net­ic (60°/s and 240°/s) ­knee exten­sion ­torque was meas­ured ­using an iso­ki­net­ic dyna­mom­e­ter.
Results. None of the pro­grammes ­changed the mus­cu­lar ­mass. All 3 ­groups ­increased iso­met­ric (­angle 20°, p<0.001; ­angle 100°, p<0.003) and iso­ki­net­ic (60°/s, p<0.0001; 240°/s, p<0.0001) ­knee exten­sion ­torque. None of the pro­grammes ­appeared ­more effi­cient ­than the oth­ers for mus­cu­lar ­mass or mus­cu­lar ­strength.
Conclusion. Six ­weeks of activ­ity (SC, ES or SC+ES) ­improved the iso­met­ric and dynam­ic mus­cu­lar ­strength in age­ing ­healthy wom­en. However, ­this peri­od was too ­short to ­change the mus­cu­lar ­mass. None of the activ­ities pre­sent­ed a ­real advan­tage ­over the oth­ers in age­ing wom­en.

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