The Effects of a Water-Based Exercise Program on Strength and Functionality of Older Adults

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Paulo Cesar Barauce Bento
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Gleber Pereira
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Carlos Ugrinowitsch
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Andre L.F. Rodacki
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Objective:

To analyze the effects of a water-based exercise program on peak torque (PT) and rate of torque development (RTD) during maximal voluntary ballistic isometric contractions of the lower limb muscles and the performance of a number of functional tests in the elderly.

Method:

Thirty-seven elderly were randomly assigned to water-based training (3 d/wk for 12 wk) or a control group. Extensor and flexor PT and RTD of the ankle, knee, and hip joints and functional tests were evaluated before and after training.

Results:

PT increased after training for the hip flexors (18%) and extensors (40%) and the plantar-flexor (42%) muscles in the water-based group. RTD increased after training for the hip-extensor (10%), knee-extensor (11%), and ankle plantar-flexor (27%) muscles in the water-based group. Functional tests also improved after training in the water-based group (p < .05).

Conclusion:

The water-based program improved PT and RTD and functional performance in the elderly.

Bento, Pereira, and Rodacki are with the Section of Biological Sciences, Federal University of Parana, Parana, Brazil. Ugrinowitsch is with the School of Physical Education and Sport, São Paulo University, São Paulo, Brazil.

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