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BELLEW JAMES W.; YATES, JAMES W.; GATER, DAVID R.
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: February 2003
Original Article: PDF Only

ABSTRACTEvidence indicates that leg weakness in older adults is associated with decreased control of balance. The gender-specific implications of strength training on control of balance in older men and women remains unknown. This study examined the initial adaptations to 12 weeks of low-volume, single-set-to-failure strength training and its effect on quadriceps strength and control of multidirectional balance in previously untrained older men (n = 11) and women (n = 11) 59–83 years of age. Leg strength increased 23–30% (p < 0.001) across genders; however, the effect on balance varied between genders. No significant changes were noted in the women, whereas 37% (p < 0.014) more sway in the medial-lateral direction was noted in the men, with no change in the anterior-posterior direction. These results demonstrate that this training protocol may not be effective for improving balance and may lead to worsening of balance in older men.

Evidence indicates that leg weakness in older adults is associated with decreased control of balance. The gender-specific implications of strength training on control of balance in older men and women remains unknown. This study examined the initial adaptations to 12 weeks of low-volume, single-set-to-failure strength training and its effect on quadriceps strength and control of multidirectional balance in previously untrained older men (n = 11) and women (n = 11) 59–83 years of age. Leg strength increased 23–30% (p < 0.001) across genders; however, the effect on balance varied between genders. No significant changes were noted in the women, whereas 37% (p < 0.014) more sway in the medial-lateral direction was noted in the men, with no change in the anterior-posterior direction. These results demonstrate that this training protocol may not be effective for improving balance and may lead to worsening of balance in older men.

© 2003 National Strength and Conditioning Association