The Effects of Strength Conditioning on Older Women's Ability to Perform Daily Tasks

Gary R. Hunter, Margarita S. Treuth, Roland L. Weinsier, Tamas Kekes‐Szabo, Sherron H. Kell, David L. Roth, Christal Nicholson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

114 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this study were to determine the effects of a strength‐training program on walking speed and relative muscular stress, as measured by normalized integrated electromyographic (nIEMG) activity, while carrying a box of groceries and standing from a chair. DESIGN: Prospective intervention study. SETTING: Volunteer subjects from the community of Birmingham, Alabama. PARTICIPANTS: Fourteen healthy women aged 60 to 77 years. INTERVENTION: Sixteen weeks of total body strength conditioning. MEASUREMENTS: Before and after 16 weeks of strength conditioning, the following variables were evaluated for all subjects: (1) strength, six isotonic tests and two isometric tests; (2) walking velocity; (3) nIEMG of the biceps while carrying a box of groceries; and (4) nIEMG of the rectus femoris while standing from a chair. MAIN RESULTS: After the strength training program, subjects' isotonic strength increased significantly, an average of 52% on the isotonic tests and 31% on the isometric tests. Walking velocity also increased significantly (18%). nIEMG of the biceps decreased 36% while carrying a box of groceries. Rectus femoris nIEMG decreased 40% while standing and 47% while sitting. CONCLUSIONS: After strength conditioning, healthy older women showed not only substantially increased strength but also improvements in walking velocity and the ability to carry out daily tasks such as rising from a chair and carrying a box of groceries. 1995 The American Geriatrics Society

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)756-760
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of the American Geriatrics Society
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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