This study compared maximal voluntary-contraction (MVC) force and twitch-contractile properties of the plantar-flexor muscles in resting and postactivation potentiation slates of 2 groups of men matched for similar levels of physical activity: young (19- to 22-year-olds. n = 13) and 52–63 years old (n = 12). MVC force, twitch peak force (PT), maximal rates of force development and relaxation, and postactivation potentiation were higher (p < .05) in young than in 52- to 63-year-old men. In young men. potentiated-twitch PT was 23.3% higher (p < .01) than resting twitch. Resting- and potentialed-twitch-contraction times were 16.7% and 18.3% shorter, respectively (p < .001), in young than in 52- to 63-year-old men. These Findings suggest that late middle age is characterized by reduced capacity for evoked twitch-force generation and potentiation and slowed speed of contraction of the plantar-flexor muscles.
Mati Pääsuke, Jaan Ereline, Helena Gapeyeva and Heigo Maamägi
Mati Pääsuke, Jaan Ereline, Helena Gapeyeva, Kadri Joost, Karin Mõttus and Pille Taba
The lower extremity performance in elderly female patients with mild to moderate Parkinson’s disease (PD; n = 12) and controls (n = 16) was compared. Isometric dynamometry and force-plate measurements were used. PD patients had lower (p < .05) bilateral (BL) maximal isometric leg-extension force (MF), BL isometric MF relative to body mass, and maximal rate of isometric force development than control participants. BL strength deficit was greater (p < .05) in PD patients than in controls. A significantly longer chair-rise time and lower maximal rate of vertical-ground-reaction-force development while rising from a chair was found in PD patients than in controls. These findings suggest that elderly women with PD have lowered voluntary isometric force-generation capacity of the leg-extensor muscles. Reduced BL leg-extension strength might contribute to the difficulty of individuals with PD to rise from a chair.
Anni Rava, Anu Pihlak, Jaan Ereline, Helena Gapeyeva, Tatjana Kums, Priit Purge, Jaak Jürimäe and Mati Pääsuke
The purpose of this study was to evaluate the differences in body composition, neuromuscular performance, and mobility in healthy, regularly exercising and inactive older women, and examine the relationship between skeletal muscle indices and mobility. Overall, 32 healthy older women participated. They were divided into groups according to their physical activity history as regularly exercising (n = 22) and inactive (n = 10) women. Body composition, hand grip strength, leg extensor muscle strength, rapid force development, power output, and mobility indices were assessed. Regularly exercising women had lower fat mass and higher values for leg extensor muscle strength and muscle quality, and also for mobility. Leg extensor muscle strength and power output during vertical jumping and appendicular lean mass per unit of body mass were associated with mobility in healthy older women. It was concluded that long-term regular exercising may have beneficial effects on body composition and physical function in older women.