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Editorial Muscle-Strength and Gait-Speed Changes After Bicycle Exercise in Participants With Unilateral CVA



The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of bicycle exercise on knee-muscle strength and gait speed in 8 male participants with cerebrovascular accident (CVA). Isokinetic knee-extensor and -flexor strength were measured in both concentric- and eccentric-contraction modes. Fifty-foot walking tests were used for gait speed. After only 4 weeks of stationary recumbent cycling (12 sessions), participants improved eccentric muscle strength of the knee extensors, bilaterally. Walking-speed improvements approached but did not achieve significance with training. Improvement in concentric muscle strength of the knee extensors was observed in the involved limb, although most participants demonstrated a nonsignificant increase in muscle strength in the contralateral limb, as well. No improvements were demonstrated in the knee-flexor muscles. Thus, bicycle exercise serves to improve knee-extensor strength. In addition, these strength improvements might have implications for better control of walking in terms of bilateral improvement of eccentric muscle strength.

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