The current study investigated the effect of 2 different types of unilateral resistance training on the postural tremor output of 19 neurologically healthy men age 70–80 yr. The strength- (n = 7) and coordination-training (n = 7) groups trained twice a week for 6 wk, performing dumbbell biceps curls, wrist flexions, and wrist extensions, while the control group (n = 5) maintained their normal activities. Changes in index-finger tremor (RMS amplitude, peak, and proportional power) and upper limb muscle coactivation were assessed during 4 postural conditions that were performed separately with the trained and untrained limbs. The 2 training groups experienced significantly greater reductions in mean RMS tremor amplitude, peak, and proportional tremor power 8–12 Hz and upper limb muscle coactivation, as well as greater increases in strength, than the control group. These results further demonstrate the benefits of resistance training for improving function in older adults.
Justin W.L. Keogh, Steve Morrison, and Rod Barrett
Justin W.L. Keogh, Andrew Kilding, Philippa Pidgeon, Linda Ashley, and Dawn Gillis
Dancing is a mode of physical activity that may allow older adults to improve their physical function, health, and well-being. However, no reviews on the physical benefits of dancing for healthy older adults have been published in the scientific literature. Using relevant databases and keywords, 15 training and 3 cross-sectional studies that met the inclusion criteria were reviewed. Grade B–level evidence indicated that older adults can significantly improve their aerobic power, lower body muscle endurance, strength and flexibility, balance, agility, and gait through dancing. Grade C evidence suggested that dancing might improve older adults’ lower body bone-mineral content and muscle power, as well as reduce the prevalence of falls and cardiovascular health risks. Further research is, however, needed to determine the efficacy of different forms of dance, the relative effectiveness of these forms of dance compared with other exercise modes, and how best to engage older adults in dance participation.
Asmita Patel, Grant M. Schofield, Gregory S. Kolt, and Justin W.L. Keogh
This study examined whether perceived barriers, benefits, and motives for physical activity differed based on allocation to 2 different types of primary-care activity-prescription programs (pedometer-based vs. time-based Green Prescription). Eighty participants from the Healthy Steps study completed a questionnaire that assessed their perceived barriers, benefits, and motives for physical activity. Factor analysis was carried out to identify common themes of barriers, benefits, and motives for physical activity. Factor scores were then used to explore between-groups differences for perceived barriers, benefits, and motives based on group allocation and demographic variables. No significant differences were found in factor scores based on allocation. Demographic variables relating to the existence of chronic health conditions, weight status, and older age were found to significantly influence perceived barriers, benefits, and motives for physical activity. Findings suggest that the addition of a pedometer to the standard Green Prescription does not appear to increase perceived motives or benefits or decrease perceived barriers for physical activity in low-active older adults.
Justin W.L. Keogh, Nicola Power, Leslie Wooller, Patricia Lucas, and Chris Whatman
This mixed-methods, quasi-experimental pilot study examined whether the Nintendo Wii Sports (NWS) active video game (exergame) system could significantly improve the functional ability, physical activity levels, and quality of life of 34 older adults (4 men and 30 women, 83 ± 8 yr) living in 2 residential aged-care (RAC) centers. Change score analyses indicated the intervention group had significantly greater increases in bicep curl muscular endurance, physical activity levels, and psychological quality of life than the control group (p < .05). Analysis of the quotes underlying the 3 themes (feeling silly, feeling good; having fun; and something to look forward to) suggested that intervention group participants developed a sense of empowerment and achievement after some initial reluctance and anxiousness. They felt that the games were fun and provided an avenue for greater socialization. These results add some further support to the utilization of NWS exergames in the RAC context.
Christos K. Argus, Nicholas D. Gill, Justin W.L. Keogh, Michael R. McGuigan, and Will G. Hopkins
There is little literature comparing contrast training programs typically performed by team-sport athletes within a competitive phase. We compared the effects of two contrast training programs on a range of measures in high-level rugby union players during the competition season.
The programs consisted of a higher volume-load (strength-power) or lower volume-load (speed-power) resistance training; each included a tapering of loading (higher force early in the week, higher velocity later in the week) and was performed twice a week for 4 wk. Eighteen players were assessed for peak power during a bodyweight countermovement jump (BWCMJ), bodyweight squat jump (BWSJ), 50 kg countermovement jump (50CMJ), 50 kg squat jump (50SJ), broad jump (BJ), and reactive strength index (RSI; jump height divided by contact time during a depth jump). Players were then randomized to either training group and were reassessed following the intervention. Inferences were based on uncertainty in outcomes relative to thresholds for standardized changes.
There were small between-group differences in favor of strength-power training for mean changes in the 50CMJ (8%; 90% confidence limits, ±8%), 50SJ (8%; ±10%), and BJ (2%; ±3%). Differences between groups for BWCMJ, BWSJ, and reactive strength index were unclear. For most measures there were smaller individual differences in changes with strength-power training.
Our findings suggest that high-level rugby union athletes should be exposed to higher volume-load contrast training which includes one heavy lifting session each week for larger and more uniform adaptation to occur in explosive power throughout a competitive phase of the season.
Pablo Jorge Marcos-Pardo, Alejandro Espeso-García, Abraham López-Vivancos, Tomás Abelleira Lamela, and Justin W.L. Keogh
The coronavirus disease outbreak in China has become the world’s leading health headline and is causing major panic and public concerns. Public health guidelines in many countries are suggesting that people stay at home to avoid human-to-human transmission of the virus, which may lead to reduced physical activity and greater feelings of isolation. Such effects may be particularly problematic in older adults due to their reduced physical capacities and their potential for increased mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. A potential way to minimize many of these side effects of stay-at-home guidelines may be progressive home-based resistance training. A simple way to provide progressive overload in home-based resistance training may involve elastic resistance, which has been demonstrated to provide similar benefits to traditional resistance training equipment typically found in gymnasiums. Recommendations on how older adults can safely and effectively perform elastic resistance training at home are provided.