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Departments: ACSM News Briefs

ACSM Newsbriefs

doi: 10.1249/FIT.0000000000000346
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Research has shown that disproportionally slow walking speed in old age predicts numerous medical, cognitive, and motor dysfunctions. Aging modifies neuromuscular activation of agonist and antagonist muscles during walking. Power training can evoke adaptations in neuromuscular activation that underlie gains in muscle strength and power, but it is unknown if these adaptations transfer to dynamic tasks such as walking. A study published in the November 2017 issue of Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise® examined the effects of lower extremity power training on neuromuscular activation during level gait in older adults.

This study looked at 12 community-dwelling older adults (age ≥65 years) who completed a 10-week lower extremity power-training program and 13 older adults who completed a 10-week control period. Before and after the interventions, the authors measured maximal isometric muscle strength and electromyographic (EMG) activation of the right knee flexor, knee extensor, and plantarflexor muscles on a dynamometer and measured EMG amplitudes, activation onsets and offsets, and activation duration of the knee flexors, knee extensors, and plantarflexors during gait at habitual, fast, and standardized (1.25 ± 0.6 m/s) speeds.

The results of the study showed that power training-induced increases in EMG amplitude (~41%; 0.47 ≤ d ≤ 1.47; p ≤ 0.05) explained 33% (p = 0.049) of increases in isometric muscle strength (~43%; 0.34 ≤ d ≤ 0.80; p ≤ 0.05). Power training–induced gains in plantarflexor activation during push-off (+11%; d = 0.38; p = 0.045) explained 57% (p = 0.004) of the gains in fast gait velocity (+4%; d = 0.31; p = 0.059). Furthermore, power training increased knee extensor activation (~18%; 0.26 ≤ d ≤ 0.29; p ≤ 0.05) and knee extensor coactivation during the main knee flexor burst (~24%; 0.26 ≤ d ≤ 0.44; p ≤ 0.05) at habitual and fast speed, but these adaptations did not correlate with changes in gait velocity.

The authors conclude that power training increased neuromuscular activation during isometric contractions and level gait in old adults. The power training-induced neuromuscular adaptations were associated with increases in isometric muscle strength and partly with increases in fast gait velocity.


For the first-time ever in the DC area, we are calling all certified health practitioners, fitness professionals, and students planning to enter the health and fitness industry. If you are searching for the latest educational advances in the field, inspiration, and networking opportunities, look no further than ACSM’s International Health & Fitness Summit! You will find many opportunities to meet your needs, including hot topic panel discussions and keynote lectures with some of the industry’s leading experts. In addition to ACSM’s renowned research-backed lectures, daily on-trends workouts, and hands-on workshops, this is an excellent opportunity to network with our world-class speakers, to see what’s new in our Expo, all while earning more than 20 CECs! Mark your calendar now: ACSM’s International Health & Fitness Summit April 5 to 8, 2018.

Be in the center of all the action, as The Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, VA, will be home to all meetings, lectures, workouts, and exhibits. Within minutes from the host hotel, you can explore the nation’s best monuments and museums, taking in a show at the Kennedy Center, enjoying a Washington Nationals game, or even touring the White House! Arlington, VA, has plenty of attractions, including luxury shopping and dining in Clarendon, visiting the historic Arlington National Cemetery, or hiking in nearby Great Falls Park. Enjoy a complimentary shuttle to the airport and easy access to the Metro for your quick, easy, and inexpensive transportation needs.

All attendees booked within the housing link will receive complimentary guest internet and unlimited access to the fitness center. Housing is available on a first-come, first-served basis and will be available until Friday, March 9, 2018, or until the guestroom block sells out. The rate is $169.00 per night. Please visit to make your reservations today. You won’t want to miss ACSM’s International Health & Fitness Summit!


The Lawrence A. Golding Scholarship is being offered for the 13th consecutive year. The scholarship is designed to publicly recognize and honor undergraduate students who are in their sophomore through senior year, and have made significant outstanding contributions to their communities in the areas of health, fitness, and/or education.

The American College of Sports Medicine will provide $1,000 to the winner along with complimentary registration to the 2018 ACSM’s International Health & Fitness Summit in Arlington, Virginia (Washington, D.C.) April 5-8, 2018, where the award will be presented in person to the winner.

For more information, or to apply for the scholarship, please visit Applications should be emailed to no later than December 15, 2017.

© 2017 American College of Sports Medicine.