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  • Author: George J. Salem x
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George J. Salem, Man-Ying Wang, and Susan Sigward

In order to obtain joint-specific baseline strength characteristics in older adults, clinicians and researchers must have knowledge regarding the relative stability of the various strength tests (the strength difference between repeated measures) and the number of prebaseline practice sessions required to obtain consistent data. To address these needs, the relative multiple-test stability and reliability associated with lower extremity isokinetic and 1-repetition-maximum (1RM) strength measures were assessed in a sample of older adults (N = 30, 65.2 ± 6.3 years), over 4 weeks (T1-T4). Isokinetic ankle plantar-flexion (30°/s) strength and 1RM ankle plantar-flexion, leg-press, and knee-flexion strength exhibited poor stability between Weeks T1 and T2 but stabilized between Weeks T2 and T3 and Weeks T3 and T4. The measures exhibited low incidence of injury and induced low levels of residual muscle soreness. Findings suggest that the 1RM measures require at least 1 prebaseline training session in order to establish consistent baseline performance and are more reliable than isokinetic ankle plantar-flexion tests.

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Sean P. Flanagan, Joo-Eun Song, Man-Ying Wang, Gail A. Greendale, Stanley P. Azen, and George J. Salem

The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether increases in internal (muscular) demand would be proportional to increases in the external demand during heel-raise exercise. Seven male (mean age 74.9 ± 4.8 years) and 9 female (mean age 74.4 ± 5.1 years) older adults performed both double-leg heel raises and single-leg heel raises under 3 loading conditions (no external resistance and +5% and +10% of each participant’s body weight). Kinematic and kinetic dependent variables were calculated using standard inverse-dynamics techniques. The results suggest that although the single-heel raise led to increases in peak net joint moments, power, and mechanical-energy expenditure (MEE), it did so at the expense of range of motion and angular velocity. In addition, increasing the external resistance by 5% of participants’ body weight did not elicit significant changes in either the power or the MEE of the ankle joint. These effects should be considered when prescribing these exercises to older adults.