Relationships Between Trunk Muscle Strength, Spinal Mobility, and Balance Performance in Older Adults

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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This study investigated associations between variables of trunk muscle strength (TMS), spinal mobility, and balance in seniors. Thirty-four seniors (sex: 18 female, 16 male; age: 70 ± 4 years; activity level: 13 ± 7 hr/week) were tested for maximal isometric strength (MIS) of the trunk extensors, flexors, lateral flexors, rotators, spinal mobility, and steady-state, reactive, and proactive balance. Significant correlations were detected between all measures of TMS and static steady-state balance (r = .43−.57, p < .05). Significant correlations were observed between specific measures of TMS and dynamic steady-state balance (r = .42−.55, p < .05). No significant correlations were found between all variables of TMS and reactive/proactive balance and between all variables of spinal mobility and balance. Regression analyses revealed that TMS explains between 1–33% of total variance of the respective balance parameters. Findings indicate that TMS is related to measures of steady-state balance which may imply that TMS promoting exercises should be integrated in strength training for seniors.

Granacher, Lacroix, and Muehlbauer are with the Division of Training and Movement Sciences, Cluster of Excellency in Cognition Sciences, University of Potsdam, Potsdam, Germany. Roettger and Gollhofer are with the Institute of Sport and Sport Science, Albert-Ludwigs-University Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany.

Address author correspondence to Urs Granacher at urs.granacher@uni-potsdam.de.