Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine ( 2019 ) 18 , 722 - 728

Research article
Effects of Progressive Walking and Stair-Climbing Training Program on Muscle Size and Strength of the Lower Body in Untrained Older Adults
Hayao Ozaki1,2, Takashi Nakagata2, Toshinori Yoshihara3, Tomoharu Kitada1, Toshiharu Natsume3, Yoshihiko Ishihara4, Pengyu Deng2, Hiroyuki Kobayashi5, Shuichi Machida1,2,4, , Hisashi Naito1,2,4
Author Information
1 Graduate School of Health and Sports Science, Juntendo University, Inzai, Chiba, Japan
2 School of Health and Sports Science, Juntendo University, Inzai, Chiba, Japan
3 COI Project Center, Juntendo University, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo, Japan
4 Institute of Health and Sports Science & Medicine, Juntendo University, Inzai, Chiba, Japan
5 Department of General Medicine, Mito Medical Center, Tsukuba University Hospital, Mito, Ibaraki, Japan

Shuichi Machida
✉ Graduate School of Health and Sports Science, Juntendo University, 1-1 Hirakagakuendai, Inzai, Chiba 270-1695, Japan
Email: machidas@juntendo.ac.jp
Publish Date
Received: 14-06-2018
Accepted: 07-10-2019
Published (online): 01-12-2019
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ABSTRACT

The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effect of the progressive walking program on lower limb muscle size and strength and evaluated whether the stair-climbing exercise provided additional training effects when combined with the walking program. Fifteen elderly subjects (age 69 ± 1 years, height 1.63 ± 0.02 m, body weight 64.5 ± 2.0 kg) were randomly assigned to a walking group or a walking and stair-climbing group. The progressive walking program comprised continuous (week 1-8) and interval (week 9-17) exercises. The walking and stair-climbing group also performed stair climbing. Muscle thickness, strength, and walking performance were evaluated before and 8 and 17 weeks after the start of the program. The muscle thickness of the anterior and posterior parts of the thigh significantly (p < 0.05) increased in both groups. There was also a significant (p < 0.01) main effect of time in isometric maximal strength and the values expressed relative to body mass for both knee extension and flexion. However, no group × time interactions were noted. Furthermore, the percentage change of knee flexion strength after the training period was significantly (p < 0.01) correlated with the pre-intervention value. Seventeen weeks of the progressive walking program can increase thigh muscle size and strength for older adults; however, an added stair-climbing exercise may not provide additional training effects. Furthermore, the magnitude of improvement in knee flexion strength would depend on the pre-intervention value.

Key words: Aged, ambulation, muscles, strength, stair climbing


           Key Points
  • Progressive walking program including both moderate-intensity continuous and high-intensity interval exercise can increase thigh muscle size and strength for older adults.
  • The magnitude of improvement in knee flexion strength after the walking program would depend on the pre-intervention value.
  • Stair-climbing exercise may not provide additional training effects when combined with high-intensity walking exercise.
 
 
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