The purpose of the study was to determine whether resistance training (RT) or a combination of resistance and aerobic training (CT) resulted in the most improvement in measures of functional ability in functionally limited elders. Elderly adults who exhibited some limits in functional ability were randomly assigned to either a CT, RT, or control (C) group. Both RT and CT exercised three times per week for 16 weeks. At Weeks 0 and 17, participants completed six measures of strength and six functional tests. A 3 (group) × 3 (time) ANOVA with repeated measures on the time factor was used to analyze the results. CT and RT scored significantly better than C at Week 17 for biceps curl, elbow extension, chair stand, and time up the stairs. These findings demonstrate that RT and CT are both effective at increasing measures of strength and functional ability in elderly adults who begin exercise with functional limitations.
Fahlman is with the Dept. of Kinesiology, Health and Sport Studies, and McNevin, the Dept. of Physical Therapy, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI 48202. Morgan is with the Dept. of Kinesiology, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH 43403. Topp is with the School of Nursing, University of Louisville, Louisville, KY 40292. Boardley is with the Dept. of Health Promotion, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606.